It has been almost three months since I have returned from my study abroad program from Ghana. Since then I have had time to reflect and think about my experience as a whole. I remember signing up for this program and not knowing anyone else who was going but I knew that I had to take this trip for myself. I’m glad that I was able to step outside of my comfort zone and take a chance because this experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity and has really helped me to grow a person.

There are so many great experiences that I was able to enjoy. One aspect of this trip that I really enjoyed was meeting so many wonderful people who are genuinely nice and have such a love for God. It was such a great experience to feel welcomed by people I didn’t know at all but they didn’t let the fact that we were strangers get in the way of allowing us to feel welcomed. I have actually made some friends from Ghana who I keep in touch with and I’m glad we were able to make such a connection with each other.

Another aspect of this trip that I really enjoyed was the seminars that we attended. We talked about topics that are never really talked about in schools I have been in or if they are they are always taught in one perspective. It was also good that we were learning from people who are experiencing first hand what is going on in their country and were able to lie to rest the myths that are told to people about Ghana and Africa as a whole. Some of the topics that we talked about were the social structure of Ghana, Ghanaian pastimes and pop culture, the transatlantic slave trade, and politics and the institution of Ghana to name a few. Along with the seminars we took a dance practicum class as well. This was amazing because we learned dances, songs, and how to play instruments important to their culture. We even got to do a little performance were we dressed in their dance uniform and showed what we learned from the class. I loved all of the classes that I got a chance to take.

The last aspect of this trip that I really enjoyed was the amazing site seeing and activities that we got to do. One of the first things we did when we got to Ghana was took a little tour of the city, Accra. We were able to see the architecture of the buildings and see how they were very modern. While driving through the streets we noticed how there are shops set up on the side of the road and how there are even vendors that walk through the streets selling anything from hand made material to food. We got to visit the W.E.B. Du Bois center and I learned information and history about him that I never learned before and we got to see where he was buried. We visited the Kwame Nkrumah memorial center and learned his history and how he became the first president of Ghana. We visited Kpando, which is a city in the Volta region in Ghana and is where Dr. Aggor, our teacher, is from, and while there we visited a Children’s home. At the children’s home we helped prepare the kids for school and were helpers to the teachers at the school. The kids at the school were accepting of us and I enjoyed being with the kids and contributing to their lives and them to ours for just a few days. We got visit Dr. Aggor’s home and visit with his family who were very nice people. We visited a monkey sanctuary and got to feed some monkeys bananas. We took a hike to Wli waterfall which was such a breathtaking experience when we were actually standing under the waterfall. We visited the markets on the side of the roads and learned the fine art of haggling. Haggling is the customer and vendor coming to a consensus of a price. I still haven’t quite mastered it but it was fun to experience. I was able to get my hair braided in the style that a lot of women have in Ghana. We got participate in Kente weaving and lean how to work the man operated machines and weave to make designs. We even go to visit Accra mall, some of the beaches in Accra, and a jazz club. My favorite site that we got to visit was Elmina Castle which is one of the main places that slaves were exported from during the transatlantic salve trade. We were given a tour and taken to many of the rooms were slaves were kept and what were told what was done to slaves in each room. We were shown the famous port of no return which was the last place in the castle slaves were before they were transported to America. There were many more wonderful sites we were given the privilege of visiting that I enjoyed as well and as whole I loved everyone of the sites we visited.

We experienced so many wonderful aspects of Ghana that I can’t just explain but would have to be experienced first hand. I’m glad I was able to take part in such a wonderful study abroad program that has helped me to grow as a person. I had such an amazing experience I hope this program continues to grow and thrive.

Written by Missy Williamson ’07

City Academy alumni thrive in secondary school and higher education. Read more about our alumni programs and placement.

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