You love soccer, and you’re not bad at it, either. Imagine yourself in the middle of a village square in Ghana playing an intense two-hour game with African men and teens who do this every single day.
Now you’re not sure you’re any good at this game, especially when fans of the opposing team start laughing at you, the only white guy on the field.
Then, something clicks and you remember some of your skills. You blow past a player from the opposing team and make a pass to a teammate, who in turn scores a goal. The crowd goes wild.
This scenario actually happened to Pete DeJong, a pre-med biology major who is studying abroad this fall in Ghana. It was a dream of his to play soccer with children there, but he never expected to have the opportunity that he did to actually play.
“It was the craziest thing to have like 50 screaming local spectators run on the field yelling and telling me ‘You have done well!’ That dream I brought with me was somewhat blown out of the water.”
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN
When Pete isn’t playing soccer with his new Ghanaian friends, he’s doing something that really isn’t much different from what he’s doing on the field: working alongside local people to make things happen.
This summer, he arrived in West Africa to live in a village and intern at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kasei, Ashanti, Ghana. There, he spent his time shadowing doctors and learning how to perform common procedures like suturing and setting IV drips.
“I learned an amazing amount about Ghanaian culture and customs while I was learning in-depth how the healthcare field works here.”