<p>Here's my essay: be honest.
<p>My stomach ties a knot. I feel as if Im going to be sick on the pristine marble floor in which I can see my pale reflection. Wat doe je --monopoly86--? I ask myself, for some reason I always talk to myself in Dutch when Im nervous. Here I am, just past customs and my parents, alone in terminal two of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport clutching my passport in my left hand and my boarding card in my right. This is it. Im going to Ghana for three months and theres no turning back. Five days ago I was on walking across stage collecting my school graduation certificate and now Im leaving everything Ive worked for: my friends, my family, my comfort zone; Abandoning my whole life voluntarily to volunteer. The irony of it all. </p>
<p>My stomach ties a knot. I feel as if Im going to be sick on the not-so pristine marble floor in which I can see my tanned reflection. Waarom ga je weg? I ask myself, again realising that Im talking to myself in Dutch because Im nervous. Here I am, just past customs and friends, alone in terminal one of Accra International Airport clutching my drum in my left hand and my passport and ticket in my right. Im going home. Im leaving everything I worked for: my friends, my job, my second home. As I board the plane memories flood back of the best three months of my life up till now and I wonder how Ill ever be able to fully explain what Ghana was like. How Ill ever be able to describe the euphoria of observing someone in the stamps line at the post office chuckling at an article I wrote or finally arriving in Timbuktu after two weeks of hardcore backpacking? The unmistakable smell of sweet street food combined with sour sewers or the feeling when a whole bus (60 people?) broke out into a cheesy pop song just like in the movies? The feeling of sleeping on a soggy mattress in the rainforest or on a sand dune in the Sahara? How do I describe the emotion of being confronted by beggars with thighs thinner than my wrists asking for 5 cents or the guilt felt for being so wealthy by African standards? How do I describe being a minority?</p>
<p>And now Im back home. Same house, same bed, same friends, same social life except Im different. And people know it. Suddenly, dilemmas here (pizza with or without mushrooms?) seem so futile but then I realise that thats exactly what I wanted all along. I wanted Africa to change the way I think, and thats exactly what its done. I just never thought it would be this drastic. There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. Well said Mandela.</p>