Sunday, December 28, 2008

Who, What, Where, When and Why

The countdown has begun. I leave in 12 days. Actually, the countdown began about 2 months ago, but now it's a little more realistic.

I will be leaving on the 8th of January from the O'Hare International Airport. I have a good friend Clara who will be going to Ghana as well, so her, myself, my mom and dad and my sister will leave Saint Paul about 9:00 a.m. and head off for the 7 hour drive to Chicago. We leave Chicago late that night and will arrive in London sometime around 11:30 a.m. their time on the 9th. From there we have a couple hours long of a layover, eventually taking off and then arriving in Ghana at 9:00 p.m. on the 9th. I'm not really sure how many hours total it will be waiting and flying because the time differences confuse me, but it'll definitely be quite a trek.

Just for some basic info on what the heck I am doing for the next 5 months:
I will be studying abroad in Ghana, Africa. More specifically, I will be at the University of Ghana in Legon. Legon is more or less a suburb of Accra, which is the capital city of Ghana. There are about 2.5 million people in Legon, so it should feel a lot like being at home. I leave January 8th and have a return ticket for June 1st. I'm hoping to find a job or internship of some sort there, which will extend my stay, but more likely than not, I will be back here by June.

I will take all my classes with other Ghanian students, except for my Twi language intensive class, which will just be with other CIEE (the program I am going with) students. Speaking of Twi, the national language in Ghana is English, but the native language is Twi, so the program has us learn Twi. All my classes will be in English though, thank goodness.

I don't know yet whether I will be staying with a host family or in the dorms. I requested a home stay as my first choice, but we don't find out until we get there. I would be happy with home stay or dorms though, so I am not to worried about it.

The biggest question I seem to be asked is "why are you going to Africa?" I am going for a couple reasons. I'm a sociology major, so I want to see and experience a society that is completely different than anything here in the U.S. I also didn't want to go somewhere that I could go as a tourist. I figured if I was going to spend money on traveling the world, I didn't want to just be another tourist somewhere, I wanted to really be somewhere new. Also, Africa has always interested me, and my only real choices were South Africa or Ghana, so Ghana it is.

I am going to do my best to update this frequently. Actually having a computer that will come with me helps a lot with that, but I've heard from other people who have traveled abroad, that often you're just doing to many other exciting things. So please be patient if there are long periods of time with no posts.

3 comments:

Daniel said...

Greta, I'm so excited for you! You know, after 12 years of going to Mexico annually, I still get culture shock, so if you need someone to vent to/listen I will just be an email away!!

Colin said...

Now here's something tough. You don't know where your staying. So do you bring a gift for your potential host-family?

Greta said...

I will bring gifts no matter what, because even if I'm not with a host family, I'll still be hosted by people throughout the semester, it's just how the culture works. So I'll bring stuff and just hope it doesn't have to come home with me.