Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year Everyone

Here we are close to the new year and alot has happened already. We have finished learning two dances. One better than the other, the one we know is called Gahu and the other is called tokei. We also learned the kidi, kagan, rattle, and bell parts to Gahu. Its been an amazing experience. My ewe is coming along, everyday i find i learn new words. Soon though will be an ending of this year and the begging of a new one. Im so happy to be here, in this country. Everyday i find myself learning new things about this culture. Happy New Years everyone, and may all your resolutions come true.....
Peace one love

Monday, December 28, 2009


Soooo, I was the luckly first to get sick on the trip. I was very fourtunate to get sick when i did because it started on Friday which was the first day of our 3 day “break”. The weekend was a break from our classes but not from new and exciting information. On Satarday we saw an exciting soccer game where the Dagbe team played against the Watee team from a nearby village and we won whcih was very exciting. Then later that day we got to watch a Babobo drum and dance which deffinately surprised all of us. The enthusiasm and passion that the locals had for the music was quite a sight. Many of them were yelling and screamming at the top of there lungs and i really got a good sence of the love and dedication these people have for their traditions and music. Then later that night i got a little dehidrated and fainted. It was a weird experience. On Sunday I woke up feeling so much better which made my day. Later that day we got to watch the Kinka association preform Kinka and some other songs. I really enjoyed this because they had big Atchimowu’s and the conversation between the two while they imporvised was incredable.

Sean Vallant

Friday, December 25, 2009

Jack and I have been following your postings with great interest and can't wait to join you in a few days. It sounds like you've all made an incredibly smooth transition to Kopeyia and are loving the village, the music, the new friends you're making, and the balmy weather. We'll be arriving in Accra on Sunday morning, spending that day with friends, and then hopping a tro tro for Ewe land on Monday morning. I'm so excited to return to Ghana and to introduce Jack to all its wonders. We can't wait to hear the amazing music you're all learning and to jump into drumming and dance with you. Christmas here is grey and cold, so arriving in the tropics will be very welcome! We send our greetings to all and wishes for a wonderful holiday with your new friends.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Hey everyone,
its been a very interesting experience so far, its christmas already and i cant belive that its almost the new year. I have continue to have classes at the art center. Yesterday though it hit me that i am not in America anymore, people were talking in Ewe and i really was confused. I dont know but sometimes i feel sort of out of my element, here. Well i am excited cause tonight we are going to cook dinner for the cooks as a present for them. I love to explore more and learn everyday while im here. I hope everyone has a beautiful brand new year and may all your wishes come true...
Peace One Love

words cannot describe

Today is our seventh day in Ghana, and I feel like I have been here for ages. Kopeyia is the village that we are staying in and it is so wonderful, there is such a strong sense of community and connection among the inhabitants, it is like one big family, which I love. We are staying in what is called the cultural center, which has far exceeded my expectations. They have made it very comfortable for us, we have real toilets and showers and nice comfortable beds with fans in all the rooms. I never expected all of this considering that a few years ago they didn't have electricity at all, but it is very nice. Every day we have two, two hours lessons, in the morning we learn African dancing and in the afternoon we learn drumming and all the other instruments. The lessons are really tough, the teachers really expect a lot of us, but I am learning so much and improving every day. I always thought I was totally tone deaf but I know that isn't true, because I am starting to get it, it just takes me a little longer. The teachers here are so patient and kind and they are helping me so much. Aside from the lessons I have been learning so much from our Ewe friends from the village. I have started a "language exchange" with a boy from the village named Jackson. He prepares lessons for me and then spontaneously quizzes me,  the language is very difficult so I am really glad to have his help. Even though most people here speak some English I think that it is so important to make an effort to learn the local language, and I think the people here really respect our effort to learn (even though I have only retained a few phrases so far).  Every day there is so much to see and do and so many wonderful people to talk with, I love it here and am so grateful for this amazing once in a lifetime  opportunity.  

Have yourself a balmy, rhythmic little Christmas!

Well, we've been here a week as of tomorrow, and I think everyone has settled in. Our lessons are going well - four of the group are studying Gahu, a social dance, and three of us are studying Togo Atsia - a very difficult "master" piece that has been keeping us on our toes. At night, we practice or play music with our friends here - Wisdom, a 17 year old young man with immense talent and patience, has become a good friend to all.

I see the students learning so much about relationships and village life in Ghana, something that I never could provide from a classroom. What a blessing.

So we are all healthy and happy, and looking forward to another week non-winter. Be well and more soon!


merry x-mas!

Its almost been one week since we showed up here in Kopeyia and it feels like we've been here a month. Im really starting to get the feel of Ghana and am understanding their way of life. Yesterday we traveled to Ho where we saw a borborbor performance troop. It was fun to travel outside of Kopeyia and see more of the country. The performance troop incouraged us to play and dance with them, it was a real experience. I liked Ho, I wish we could have spent more time there, but It was about a two hour drive back to Kopeyia, so we were in and out. This morning we went down to the market to buy some food that we needed for making dinner tonight. We are treating our cooks to a christmas dinner tonight. We thought it would be a nice gift for cooking for us every day. I heard tonight is a big party night so I think I'll head down to the beach tonight and go to a bar for some live music and drinks.
Ive been taking a lot of good photos and have gotten some nice shots so far. Photography is kinda my thing so Im hoping to make some kind of photo story book of my entire experience and travel here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

santa's big red coat wouldn't bode him well here

It's December 24, just a regular Thursday here; were we in the US, the stockings would be hung, children scampering about more than usual, radio's everywhere would be blaring the most god-awful music from every direction as mothers run about the supermarket fighting over the last can of Bisquick. Though my families tradition isn't quite as hectic as this, the lax atmosphere here makes that scene seem like the apocalypse. subtract 65 degrees and we may indeed dream of waking to a White Christmas tonight, but the prospect of an all night Gahu dance here in the village seems like just as good of a thought...
I've never learned as much in this short of a time, less than a week in and we're over halfway through a completely new piece, Togo-Atcha, and spending our nights with Wisdom pounding out Borborbor rhythms one at a time. Visiting Ho yesterday, a town about two hours northwest of our new home, gave us a sight of the countryside and one of Ghana's larger cities. Watching villages flash by in the backdrop of a fiery setting sun punctuates the beauty of this region. Even the car horns, which get used quite often here, don't carry the aggression that they possess in the states.

Hope you're all enjoying Christmas,

P.S. Judju, hope you're doing well (and havn't driven the family too crazy yet, I still need to have some fun with them when I get back).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ghana a interesting experience....

So when i first got off the plane, i encountered alot of new things on my way to where I am today. I got to see not only the citites of Ghana, but as well as the country side. This place is really amazing because of the people i have met so far here. They treat us like a part of thier families and they also remind me of alot of my friends that i have back home. They are really welcoming and warm-hearted people. I have experienced many different adventures so far. I am currently a part of an weaving, and dancing, and drumming, Art program, that has help me futher my knowledge of the Ewe culture. My favorite part is dancing, it makes me happy. I also got a chance to go to Ho a city where we saw a Babobo group play live, they were all in sync. This experience has been amazing so far, and yes indeed i am here, and I am safe... lol.....
-Athena (Tina) Matos

Monday, December 21, 2009


Just kidding. I am absolutely loving it here in Kopeyia! Just a few of my favorite memories...

Yesterday we went walking down to the beach. It was beautiful, but hard to believe that we were looking South! Everywhere you stepped you could see sand crabs making their way towards the crashing waves. A couple of the friends that we made here gathered piles of sand in their hands and hauled it at the helpless crabs to slow them down to make them easier to catch! It was such a riot! I also made friends with one of the cooks whose name is Mary. She is a lot of fun to joke around with! After dinner last night, we were hanging outside under the gazebo. We brought over the drums and everyone in the village came out to sing, drum, and dance! The girls put on a little dance called Kpanlogo, and I taught Mary a little bit of swing dancing! Today we went to the market; it was very busy. I bought some cloth to make a dress out of, which I am very excited for. One thing that Emmanuel, the director of the Center, said to us the first day we got here was that whenever people travel to a new place they are searching for something, they have a "question mark". It is such a great feeling to know that through all the wonderful staff and amazing people that have embraced us here those question marks should soon be washing away!!!

one more thing

me again..

A converstation with Emmanuel as we spoke about how the music has changed over the past few years: (paraphrased, but you get the idea)

"you can't change the music you play, if you want to make in faster or slower thats too bad; if you change the music, you change the whole song, it becomes a different song all in itself. the only thing you can change is the dance. music is the language, you cannot change it; if the word is "come" and you change it, it means different, it becomes something else, it becomes "go." you can change the dance, though, just as you can change how you "come." you can walk, you can skip, you can crawl.. but the word "come" is always the same. that does not change."

finally here

So far I feel like i've been here for weeks.  The people here are so friendly and welcoming, they make me feel at home.  Getting here was tiresome but it is totally worth it, ive made a lot of friends in Kopeyia.  My most memorable time since I've been here has been at the beach.  Emmauel took us to see his 10 acre farm located right by the beach.  he grows chili peppers and other crops that i forgot the names of, but mostly peppers.  There we were treated to fresh coconuts and papaya.  After the coconuts we went down to the beach where i was promised to be able to swim out to a mango tree to get some fresh mangos.  i didnt see any trees out in the water so i asked him where it was and he pointed to the ocean and said, "you just have to swim a little further and you will see it"  what a jokester.  We didnt have any mangos but we had a lot of laughs.  Im having a great time

hello everyone

well i dont really know how to explain everything that we are experiencing here in words. It is has been the most incredable experience of my life and we have only been here for 2 days. I have never been so in love with a music scene like this before. Even though I have taken Ghanian drumming with Joss for a year and a half now, being in Ghana and surrounded by the music in its culture has changed my view on music and life.

Sean Vallant

It's HOT in Ghana!!!

OK. 89-90 degrees is a great break from the extreme cold that has hit the northeast; however, the group has found out just how exciting it is to eat, sleep, drum, dance, and everything else while sweating profusely.

We arrived safe after a mildly chaotic flight; a direct flight is wonderful, from JFK direct to Accra, but the chaos of loading everyone on the plane was really amazing to watch. We actually left 1 1/2 hours late, but since we had a strong tail wind we arrived in Accra on time, 7:30 the next morning. The Dagbe center had 2 cars waiting for us, and they took us direct to the center, about a 3.5 hour drive. The road was really great till the town of Achimota (you can find it on Google Maps) and then it was red dust and potholes the whole way. (Katie managed to fall asleep while bouncing in the back seat; I have to learn how to do that!)

Since arriving that night, we've played drums with the folks of Kopeyia, gone across the street to watch a huge Pentacostal Christmas "convention" (a service with drumming and song that lasts all day/into the night), gone to the beach, toured Emmanuel Agbeli's farm to see how our sprinklers will work, had both dance and drum lessons, went to the local market, and much more. Hopefully I'll be able to post some photos at some point, but for now we're lucky to find a good internet spot that has a reasonable connection very close to the village.

Speaking of which, the village and Dagbe center are amazing, and much has changed since I last visited years ago. They have electricity; they ALL have cell phones (so those of you worrying about whether or not we can contact you if need be - oh, we could, and so easily!) So we are absolutely comfortable.

Tomorrow we continue our lessons; Wednesday we visit the town of Ho to watch a performance of a very beloved music called borborbor. We are happy, healthy, and having a great time. Except for some certain students who are trying to dash our hosts and convince them to write their blog entires for them.... STOP THAT!!

See you all again soon. From now on one student will post per day....



so i guess wh're here now, the dust is setteling in after one hell of a bumpy flight and an even bumpier drive across pothole-ridden streets and roads, it is wornerful i must say. imaging getting a back massage as you fly between pedestrians and trucks laden 20 feet high with widgets, doo-dads, and whatchmacallits... that was the introduction to Ghana.
living in Kopeyia: sot aroun a gazebo filled with drums that sound as happy as the people around us drinking as much water as you can to sustain yourself in the humid heat. watch lizards scamper about with children, bobing their heads to the music and keeping cool in the shade. welcome to a place where you ask the time and the best responses are "afternoon...ish." welcome to a new place, welcome to a home.

too good to be true...

Today is out third day in Ghana, and I feel like I have been here for weeks. So far this experience has been so amazing it is difficult for me to put my feelings into words. Ghana has been everything I could have imagined and more. The people, the music, the clothing, the food, the smells, the culture are all so wonderful. I have grown to love Ghana over the past semester just by learning about it in class, but being here the culture has really come alive. We are staying at the Cultural Center and the staff here couldn't be more wonderful. They have gone out of their way to make us feel comfortable and at home, and for this I am grateful.
It is difficult for me to choose an aspect of Ghanaian culture that I like best, but I must say the strong sense of community and family here is something that I adore and wish was a more prominant aspect of my own culture. Even though we are not from this country we were welcomed in as part of the community without any hesitation, which has made this place feel almost like home to me. I have already learned so much and there is still so much more to learn. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity and I can't wait for the adventures and relationships that I have yet to experience.

Friday, December 18, 2009

the day before

Im finding out that this is not the easiest time of year to travel. I Left St. Mikes wednesday afternoon to drive home in the middle of a snow storm. I left school in such a rush to try and beat the weather, that I forgot my group t-shirt up at school, Joss is going to kill me! Sorry Joss.. It was good to come home for a day before my departure so I could say goodbye to my family and friends, and get all of my stuff together and ready. It just hit me in the past two days that I am going halfway around the world. I started my malaria medication and Im already feeling the side effects, the dreams are vivid.
Im just finishing my packing as I am writing this. I keep feeling like I am going to forget something else, but my list says Im all set. I can't wait to get on the plane and be on my way.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Predepature flight to New York City on the way to Ghana

Today was like any other day but it wasn't really ordinary. My plane to New York City was late and not only that, i would have almost missed this trip had it not been for the fact that i had my schedule of events with me and i had told the flight people, i had to meet you guys at one. It was bad, we waited for a hour and a half on flight 27 and then we found out that the brakes were frozen, so we had to go and either go to a hotel or wait for another plane, i was lucky. I got the chance to wait for another plane, and now I'm home after a little while. I am feeling so many emotions now, and after this experience i have a new outtake on life, i hope everything will go okay for us, and thanks for following us.....

Thanksgiving and Ghana Sprinklers

Hey guys just figured out how to use this, it was interesting getting to come and meet Professor's Price's friend and his daughter. They gave me a box of black sprinklers that we are going to use to bring to a farmer. We talked about not to be friends with goats and more interesting things, i am so excited.....

time to get ready and go...

Tomorrow we will be getting on a plane to go Ghana, I can't believe it. It seems so crazy to me that today I was skiing in 0 degree weather and in a few days I will find myself overwhelmed with heat in a completely different region in the world. Now that the stress and chaos of finals has subsided I find myself flooded with so many new emotions, nerves, uncertainty but most of all excitement. It is hard for me to know what to say in this blog entry, besides, I can't wait for the adventures that await me in this unknown place. I also just want to say how grateful I am to have this opportunity and how appreciative I am for all of the hard work and effort that is making this possible.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The only thing certain is uncertainty…

It’s getting down to the nitty-gritty. I’m cherishing these few days before we leave because nothing is like the excitement of heading towards the unknown. I think it is safe to say that after a full semester, foggy finals, heavy planning, and lightly packing, we can breathe a sigh of relief and get ready to travel to another part of the world!
Recently, I have been reflecting on a community dance class that I attended in early December, led by Johnny Scovel. He taught us some Haitian dances, most of which are influenced by West African dance styles. I was amazed to find that many of the women in the class had been dancing for about fifteen years. I was glad that I accompanied them, let my guard down, and had fun. One woman even gave me a sarong to make me feel like a part of the group. It improved my dancing, of course!
At times I didn’t understand what I was doing or if I was executing the dance moves correctly. While I may have found this frustrating it caused me to reorganize my apprehensions. A most important thought, that I am sure I will be reminding myself of while in Ghana, is that music is meant to involve people with their community, promote social interaction, and encourage participation. I’m ready to become actively engaged in my surroundings and not worry about the fact that I will not always understand what symbol or message is being conveyed. Having completed our Ghanaian Arts and Culture class I am confident that being immersed in what we have been studying will make this a very special endeavor yet!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Getting colder, warming up

I've made some earlier posts but haven't really introduced myself - my name is Josselyne, and I teach world music courses at St. Michael's College. As an undergraduate, I was introduced to Ghanaian culture through a wonderful professor (then at San Jose State University) named Royal Hartigan. Royal is a phenomenal jazz drummer, but also is versed in many other cultural musics, including Javanese Gamelan, Philippine Kulintang, and Ghanaian music, too. I took his Ghanaian drum ensemble and was just completely overtaken by the complexity and beauty of the music, and of the sense of community that always developed in the group. One other interesting thing I found out *after* I started working at St. Michael's is that he was an undergraduate here in the 60's - wonderful synchronicity.

Royal was not only an inspiring teacher, he helped open the door to an experience that changed the course of my musical career, and led to my work as an ethnomusicologist today. Before I graduated he took me aside and suggested that since I'd learned so much in his drumming ensemble, I should consider going to Ghana and learning from the source. He had a teacher, the late Godwin Agbeli, who was a master musician of the Ewe, who reside in the Volta Region in Southeastern Ghana. Royal's opinion was that if I wanted to go further, I needed to work with Godwin.

".....O.K.:, I said... how do I go about doing that? He gave me Godwin's info - I had to send a telegram to the nearest larger town by his village - and I got something back from him that basically said "Send your flight info and when you get to Accra, I'll be there."

"....O.K..." I said again... and sold my truck and my entire collection of hard-to-find European choral music CDs (I'd been a vocal major/choral conducting focus before this), and anything else not nailed down, bought a plane ticket, telegraphed the info to Godwin, and hopped on the plane. Alone.

Landing in Accra, I found him waiting and spent the next year, 6 hours each day, playing music. On weekends/evenings we attended events all over the Volta Region. I came back changed forever, in love with Ghana's wonderful offerings and went back as often as I could, usually every 1-2 years. It's been 9 years since my last trip, though, as since I've moved to Vermont I've been focusing on home life instead of travel. I miss Ghana, and really feel the need to go back and "re-fuel" (a positive side effect of having students who are hungry for what I teach: the need to stay on top of my game!)

Last year my colleague Lorrie Smith and I decided to go for it - we'd take students on a trip to Ghana. Over the summer we interviewed, accepted/declined applications, and ended up with a great group that I am very excited to travel with.

So here we are in early winter. Somehow we've escaped the colder temperatures of November, and are enjoying unusual sunlight and a few more afternoons on the front porch. Still, it's hard to believe we'll be in the heat of Ghana's dry season in less than a month.

I met some of the students here in the group in my Ghanaian drum/dance ensemble, called Akoma. Others I have just met this semester after they went through a rigorous application process to get into the trip. A fall course called "Ghanaian Arts & Culture" was a required element for the trip; in that class we've been exploring readings about Ghanaian traditions and learning some of the music and dance as well.

Time is flying, and the trip draws nearer - it's been enjoyable to work with the group to prepare for our journey, and I often think back to my first trip to Ghana (I was an undergraduate, too) and remember how intense it was to imagine what was in store.

Anticipation is always so strong for something so new. Our visas arrived last week, back from the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington D.C., stamped and signed for our single-entry into the country. We leave December 18th out of Kennedy Airport and fly directly into Accra, Ghana's capital city. This is a new thing - in my earlier travels, it was always necessary to stop somewhere in Europe, such as Amsterdam or London. The total trip time was something like 20 hours; now, we step out onto Ghanaian soil in 10 hours - that is a welcome change!

So stay tuned - posts will be occasional until the trip is really in gear, but we hope this will allow you to be a part of our journey and experience some of what we encounter through posts and images. Thank you for all the support!

More soon....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hi my name is Sean Vallant and I am a music major at Saint Michaels college. I think that one of the best things about my life is seeing how all my experiences change who I am as a person. I have been taking Joss's Ghanain Drum class and it has been so fascinating learning about the music of Ghana and has inspired me to learn as much as I can about the music in Ghana. It has given me a perspective that has changed who I am and who I will become. I think that being surrounded by the music in the Ghanian cultural will give me so many thoughts and memories that I can use on my life long journey of perciving sound. On this trip, I am hoping to learn new rhythms that I can think about all the time and that will inspire me to create my own music with. I think this trip will change my perpective on the world and what life is all about. I can't wait!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My name is Katie Wry and I am a senior sociology/anthropology major. In one month from today I will be getting on a plane headed to Ghana. I have been fortunate enough to have had some experience traveling during my time at St. Michael's. Through these experiences, I have been able to foster my passion to meet people from other cultures and to learn about their way of life while sharing some aspects of my life with them. I think that traveling and learning about other cultures is invaluable to ones personal growth. Over the course of this semester our class has been learning about the music and culture of Ghana and I am fascinated by what I have learned. However, my experiences have taught me that you can only learn so much from a book. To really learn about a culture, you must go there and interact with the people within it. I can only dream of the wonders that await us in Ghana and the amazing people that we are soon to meet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The anticipation of this semester's end fades to apathy towards schoolwork and back again. Less than a month from now we'll be boarding a plane wondering why we're wearing shorts in December. Twenty hours after that we'll understand why, and dream of a walk in freezer.
I've never traveled far from my New England region; never missed a color-filled fall, nor a white Christmas and New Year. I've never spent either of these holidays away from family, never missed a slice of coffee cake beside the family's decorated tree, never missed my grandfather's phone call around noon.
Traveling to Ghana will be a first for many things such as these, and probably many others I've yet to anticipate; it's the apprehension of these that get to me the most. Living in a world that contrasts so much with the tiny bubble that this campus traps us within ... I can hardly wonder what it will be like leaving... I can barely fathom what it'll be like comming back.
The music, the food, the dance, the culture that I have yet to see from within but have read and drempt of ever since it was shown to me three years back, I'm already trapped by its worderment- already so curious, already so nervous.
I guess I feel like a soon-to-be freshman packing to leave home for the first time-
A rabbit about to be pulled from the magician's tall hat.


I've always loved to travel and since I was a kid, I've always wanted to go to Africa. When I heard of the course that Joss and Lori were offering, I knew this would be my chance to have the opportunity to go to Ghana. It still hasn't quite hit me that within about a month, I'll be on a plane going to a place I've never been before. As of now I'm trying to think of what to expect, but my previous traveling experiences taught me that all of my preconceived notions of a trip will be different from what I encounter. Im really excited to experience a culture that is, from what I hear, nothing like America.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pre Ghana Trip

Hey guys,
I just wanted to thank all the people who have helped me get to Ghana. I appreciate the people who are going there with me, as well as all the events we done to help prepare us. I just wanted to say that I am excited to go there and I cant wait.....

Pre Ghana Trip

Hi everyone,
I am 21 years old. I am currently a senior at college. I want to go to Ghana because I love to travel and discover new cultures and places. In Ghana, i will love to dance and continue to learn to Drum. As well as I will love to help out in any way i can to improve the lives of the Ghana people. I look forward most of all to just being there in that moment present in time.

T minus 32 days and counting!!!

Anticipation and enthusiasm are certainly building as we are gearing up for our trip to Ghana...

I can still remember sitting in the St. Ed’s lab, fingertips hovering over the keyboard, trying to think of how to tell my parents that I wanted to go to Africa. To my surprise I received a responding e-mail with the words, "carpe diem" - go ahead and seize the opportunity, from dad. Wow, how can I anticipate what is in store for me...
My name is Danielle, and I am a senior psych major here at St. Mikes. I have always seen traveling abroad as a very enriching experience, and I am extremely fortunate that this opportunity has been presented to me. Having the chance to study the language, traditions, and ways of life in the classroom has been truly valuable. I have really enjoyed learning important historical events and customs of Ghana so that while I am there I will be able to combine experiencing present day Ghana with understanding how it has been formed by the past.
It has been wonderful getting to know the five other students and two professors whom I will be traveling with. We got to spend a weekend at Button Bay campgrounds talking with each other about the trip and building camaraderie. We also put together a dinner to raise some funds, and share with the St. Michael’s community a little “taste of Ghana”. It was apparent through our hard work that we each foster a genuine interest and determination to spend time in another culture; which was positively supported! Thank you!
We were also lucky enough to participate in a dance lesson from Peace Elewonu, a woman who grew up in Ghana encouraged by her parents to pursue dancing. It was easy to become invigorated by her energy. I kept thinking to myself, “Whoa, I don’t even sweat this much during Rugby practice.” I can’t wait to attend festivals to watch the dancers, and even learn the steps so I can join in!
I am also looking forward to our home stays with families in Kumasi. It will allow me to mature mentally by appreciating elements of the Ghanaian culture by example. I hope to expose myself to new ways of thinking and living, and in return, share some customary traditions of my own. Through open dialogue, sharing experiences and exploring traditions we will cultivate a sense of community, friendship, and mutual respect that could last a lifetime.
I’m ready to have fun… taste new foods…smile with the children…sweat with the dancers…laugh with the group…visit with the people…and experience the Ghanaian culture! Can’t wait!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fundraising success

The fundraising dinner went great! We raised $1000 and had a great time eating groundnut soup, goat kebabs, fried plantains, rice, and yam balls. The evening ended with some music by Akoma, and a Ghanaian circle dance called Gahu. Many thanks to the folks who donated time, effort, financial contributions, and other means of support:

Meghan Kerrigan, for her kind and selfless support throughout our dinner planning and evening
Maggie Downs-Angus
Jackie Murphy
Peggy Imai
Ray and Laurie Clemente
Joan and Steve Wry
Dave and Karen Lyon
Margot Smith
Constance Dean
Will Marquess
Buff Lindau
the folks from the M.O.V.E. office for helping us cook!
Tom Keefe for more cooking help
setup, maintenance, and breakdown assistance from the MU359A class
Akoma drummers

Food donations:
Shaw's supermarkets in Middlebury, Vergennes, Colchester, and Winooski
Price Chopper, South Burlington VT
Greg's Market, Middlebury VT
Shelburne Meat Market, Shelburne VT
Ledge Hill Farms, Weybridge VT
Middlebury Discount Beverage (Joe Controneo)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Taste of Ghana: an invitation

Hey folks - welcome to the Ghana Study Trip blog. We're just starting to roll on our trip preparations, and this includes a fundraising dinner on October 22nd. Please come and support the students, enjoy some great food, music, and fun - see you there!