Ghana

Why Ghana

I have always dreamed of going to Africa and Ghana was only a starting point for me. I chose Ghana because of its safe reputation, and it is an English speaking country. I could not have made a better choice for my first trip abroad by myself. Not only was Ghana beautiful and exciting, the people were the friendliest people I had ever encountered.

Traveling

The best part about being in Ghana was that I was surrounded by bold people who wanted to make the most out of the six weeks we were there. Our schedule went like this, Monday through Friday we worked at the newspaper while Saturday and Sunday we spent the whole weekend traveling to all different parts of Ghana. Ghana is an extremely diverse nation (there are over 40 languages spoken there) so each place we went was like stepping into a different country. We saw waterfalls and crocodiles and elephants and water villages. We saw many different beaches and slave fortresses and slave camps. We met Christians and Muslims. We could not have had a richer experience.

The Internship

The real purpose in me going to Ghana was to intern at a newspaper for six weeks. The paper ended up being a socialist paper headed by one of Ghana's political heroes, Kwesi Pratt. Luckily, we started working there right when politicians began campaigning for the presidential election that is taking place this year. Because of the political nature of the newspaper, we met presidential candidates as well as other important figures in Ghana. We also had the opportunity to visit a refugee camp called Buduburam located right outside of Accra. This is where Liberian refugees lived. However, we were not able to take pictures of the camp.

Impact

Ghana served to reverse many of the stereotypes I had of Africa. It taught me how to adjust to other people's cultures and appreciate the beauty in our differences and similarities. Journalistically, it sharpened my skills because I had to interview important figures such as a political rapper named A-plus and refugee camp coordinators. At the same time, interviewing refugees was the most difficult task. Hearing their stories that carried so much emotion and deserved to be told reminded me why I want to be a journalist. I hope to provide a voice for the voiceless. I want to go back to Ghana one day when I'm more skilled to handle it all. The six week period wasn't enough to process all that I was seeing and learning.