Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Akwaaba! (Welcome!)

Hello and welcome to the blog for the Emerging Economies trip to Ghana this spring. By way of introduction, my name is Jeremy Gilmore, and I will be your guide on this blogging journey. Along the way, you can expect me to share some of the lessons and insights of our preparation and trip to Ghana. I am an Assistant Director in the Office of Diversity Initiatives and enjoy working with students. This is my first time overseas, so this blog is also my own way of chronicling what the experience was like.

Well, enough about me. Last Wednesday was our first class and in it, Kwesi (our instructor), taught us valuable things about Ghanaian culture. He explained how to greet others through handshakes and proper terminology. He also shared the significance of Akan names (the traditional way of naming children in Ghana). Names, he said, are taken from the day of the week you were born. He asked who knew the day of the week they were born. Not many did. So that was our homework assignment for the week! This week, we are sharing our names and plan on learning more about the Ghanaian people and language. (After some impromptu research, I found out that I was born on a Sunday, which means my name is the same as the instructor.)

After class, there was the chance to get a first response about the upcoming experience. In the following video, Aileen from Fort Wayne, Indiana, is interviewed below about her first impressions and expectations. Enjoy and we look forward to sharing more about our journey as it approaches.

video

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