I arrived in the United States on Saturday, July 22nd around 12:45 pm. From Ghana to Brussels, where my layover was, I flew with some American friends that I met in Ghana. They were amazing and helpful as this was my first International flight. I took some time before successfully passing through the immigration checkpoints, it was such a long line. My first stop in the states was in Washington DC where I spent the week meeting other Atlas Corps Fellows and going through an orientation. Upon retrieving my luggage I was met at by the friendly Karis, she aided me to get a bus to my hostel, where I would be staying for the week. We mistakenly went to the wrong bus station but once we found the right bus we were met by a storm with a heavy rainfall, so I entered the bus wet. It was a nice welcoming to the US. Surprisingly, I was the only one in the bus, which could seat about 15 peoples, and the driver drove me to my destination without waiting for the bus to be full. This is not a common phenomenon in Ghana. It was a nice ride to the hostel, I had a very friendly conversation with the driver Dilla, he actually happens to be from Guinea. He gave me some insight on his experiences since being in the US and advice on what to possibly expect.
Once I arrived at the hostel, I struggled to get all of my luggage but the people there were so friendly they didn’t mind or seemed bothered to help me, a stranger, carry my stuff to my room. I was the first of twelve class25 Atlas Corps fellows to be welcomed while the others would arrive later.My first week was spent going through an intensive orientation with Atlas Corps. The orientation was packed with a lot of useful information; my eyes were opened to many new things. I felt well prepared for my fellowship journey following the orientation. I got to know my fellow Atlas Corps members very well and their respective countries, which was very exciting. DC was very welcoming. I liked the weather, the people, the diversity and the beautiful sites. The only thing I am missing is my favorite Ghanaian dish, fufu.
From the time that I left Ghana to arriving in the US, the experience has been so overwhelming but full of exciting moments and new memories.