A Home Away From Home

Leaving Ghana a few days ago was bittersweet. I was excited to get back home and see friends and family, but very sad that I had to leave the friends and family I had made while in Ghana. I learned so much and fell in love with the people and culture, specifically in Accra. Initially, I was supposed to study in South Africa, but because of Covid-19, the program was moved first to Mozambique and then eventually Ghana. But, it feels like I was meant to be in Ghana and I’m so glad I got to have this experience. Here’s a quick summary of my favorite final moments in the country.

~Ghana from above as my flight was departing the country & my flight tracker when I was about halfway back home

The last month of the program was an independent study session, where students chose to either do a research project or an internship. I chose to intern with a film and tv production company in Accra. For the month, I was part of the writing and editing team of a tv show currently in development. I met so many talented writers and producers and made connections that could land me a job in Ghana after college, which I am excited about.

~ Some of our cohort at the top of Mount Afadjato, the highest point in Ghana. We took a trip here before the start of our independent study session.

My birthday was on one of the final days in the program, and my friend and I went to the tallest bar in Accra. However, we didn’t realize that you had to make a reservation and almost didn’t get in. But, a kind couple saw that we were having trouble getting in and said that we could join their reservation. We ended up sitting and talking with them the entire night. This moment was really a testament to the compassion of Ghanaians, especially in relation to foreigners. I don’t think I had a single experience with a rude Ghanaian in the three months I was there. Even on my way to the airport to leave, my Uber driver actually worked at the airport and it was his day off. My friend who rode to the airport with me wanted to come inside to make sure everything went smoothly before I headed to my gate. But, they normally don’t allow people who don’t have flights to enter the airport. So, our Uber driver came inside with us to make sure that nobody stopped us and my friend could see me off. These are some of the moments that made me not want to leave.

~ My friend and I at the airport before I left. Taking the picture is none other than the Uber driver I spoke of previously. The second picture is me at the rooftop bar overlooking Accra.

Our cohort also began to feel like a family. As I mentioned, my birthday fell around the end of the trip. Coincidentally, our chef, Auntie Ama, had her birthday on the 21st and her son on the 18th. So, our program staff decided to throw a joint birthday party at our program site. So many people showed up, some I knew, some I didn’t, but it really felt like a family function. The party really showed me that I have family in Accra whenever I decide to come back and this wasn’t just a study abroad program, but I’ve made lifelong connections.

~ Kojo and I at our joint birthday party. He turned 1 and I turned 21! The other picture is of my fellow classmates and our academic director at our end-of-the-semester dinner after we gifted him a plaque of appreciation.