JFK, we meet again.

Luggage wheels clicking on the concrete, hurried steps and overpriced cinna-buns. Airports are quite possibly my favorite places, absurd as that may sound, offering up a sort of raw excitement and nervousness akin to that diet coke breakfast I regularly have. The anticipation of seeing things in a new light and from a different time zone makes these experiences addictive. The JFK international airport and I have shared a few of these experiences and rarely reneges on its promise to offer a good time, whether I’m coming home or heading out. This visit is somewhat different, however, as this trip isn’t merely for fun.

I’m setting off on a four-month trip to Ghana to work with Empower Playgrounds Inc. (EPI). I’ve been to this sub-Saharan nation a few other times but for substantially shorter trips. These previous encounters have developed in me a deep love for the people, culture, and beauties that only Ghana can deliver. Fresh mangoes, chicken and rice, and the best pineapples on earth await me, along with some of the best friends I have ever had. Heat, humidity, and lots of bugs await as well; a small cost indeed for the experience. Working alongside EPI Country Directors Isaac Darko-Mensah and Enoch Narteh, I will get to visit over 20 schools that already have electricity-generating merry-go-rounds and help in the selection and training of 10 more. This will mean a brighter future for thousands of children around Ghana, but most importantly, future generations who will have the benefit of parents that love and value education.

I guess that’s another reason that I love JFK; it will always be attached to the hope I have for the children of Ghana and my love for this country that stands as a beacon of hope to an otherwise dark situation.

-For more information on EPI please visit www.EmpowerPlaygrounds.org

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