Monday, November 16, 2009

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!

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