An Interview with a Registered Nurse from Ghana, Africa Who Now Lives and Works in the United States
What Do You Enjoy Most About the United States?
I think it is well structured with a good transportation system, good roads and good environmental hygiene.
There are good educational opportunities
The United States has good, reliable electricity
The transportation system is good
If you are able to change anything about living here in the United States what would it be?
All the taxes. I live in Massachusetts, which is often referred to as “Taxachusetts.” In Africa, they do have taxes, but they are much lower. There is only one tax and it goes directly to the government. You also only pay taxes on your house once in Ghana, not several times a year.
The problem of drug addictions
The bad weather conditions
The health care system. Don’t get me wrong. The health care here in the United States is much better than in Ghana. What I mean is the troubles that insurance sometimes gives you when you are trying to get a specific doctor or specific treatment. The paperwork and things you need to do to get that can be very difficult, and sometimes you are even denied what you need.
There is little self-respect for others, especially the elderly. In Ghana, we give our elderly preferential treatment giving them the respect they deserve. Today’s generation in the United States lack respect for themselves and the elderly. In Africa young people show respect for all elders, even if they are not related. A child is raised in an extended family and learns respect. They would never even imagine talking back to their elder’s and are taught to not look in their elder’s eyes when speaking to them. This is done out of respect.
When you go shopping in Ghana you can always bargain the price you pay. You never pay what is written on the price tag. In Ghana there are open air markets where it is very easy to bargain because they have fresh vegetables and fresh meats and they want to get rid of them as fast as they can. There may be 10 people selling the same thing and they want your business so they are all yelling for you to buy from whoever has the lowest price and even then you can still bargain them down. This is hard to do in the supermarkets, but easy in the open air markets.
Are there places that you can go to celebrate your African culture and traditions? If so, where?
I go to New York City. New York City has many places where you can get real African food and they also have places where you can enjoy African music and dance. I also find that I can connect with my African culture in church.
How often are you able to return to Ghana to visit with your family?
At least every two years.
Please include any other thoughts or experiences you would like to share.
Once again, there is too much tax in the United States. Although you earn money after taxes by the end of the month you are left with nothing.
There is also no discipline in the United States.
There is less self-respect and dignity and a lot of foul language here as well.
People in the United States need to learn good manners. We would never think of speaking badly of our elders or talking back to them in any way.
I founded Ethleen Stories to offer a portal, proving support to women of domestic violence and abuse. As a motivated journalist and woman’s advocate, this is a topic close to my heart. Through this website, I am to show women that they can achieve whatever goal in life they choose, unshackling them in the process.