Farewell, Ghana

Our final week in Ghana was yet another busy one, consisting mainly of lectures. After our final lecture, we were given a little bit of free time for the final two days. The first day a few students and I traveled to the Aburi Botanical Gardens in Aburi, roughly 45 minutes away from Accra. There we were met with beautiful landscapes, ancient trees and fresh air. Just before leaving, we encountered a trash fire within the Gardens. It was quite disheartening to see destruction in the midst of such beauty. In addition to photographing the event, I also wrote a blog post about it on the Scripps International Institute of Journalism’s blog, which you can read here: http://scrippsiij.blogspot.com/2014/01/as-first-time-international-traveler.html

The second day was spent at the Christ Faith Foster Home in Frafraha. This experience was a little different for me than being at Street Sisters. Here we were asked by one of the Headmistresses to teach the children something from American culture- a song, dance, anything. My roommate Alyssa and I had the pleasure to work with the younger group of kids teaching them silly songs like the ‘Hokey Pokey’ and ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider.’ Since we were teaching, I was unable to use my camera but enjoyed the break from it to better interact with the children. I was able to grab a few shots before leaving which are the final images that I have from my trip. My experience in Ghana has given me a wider view of the world, and am so fortunate to have been able to document it in a way that I will never forget.

My Week in Pictures

This past week in Ghana was extremely busy, but we were finally able to relax with a weekend trip to the beautiful Cape Coast. Upon arrival, we attended a traditional ceremony in a small village there. It was difficult for me to follow what was happening during the ceremony because no English was spoken, so I let my camera take me around the edges of the ceremony to photograph those attending. Often times it’s more fun for me to find pictures away from the main event. In addition to the ceremony, our group was able to tour both the Elmina Castle and Cape Coast Castle. It was humbling to walk the same paths that thousands of slaves stepped before me.

Our return to Accra brought us to the farm of Kofi Asare Opoku, where we learned about various plants and fruits, and then to an orphanage where we enjoyed an afternoon playing soccer with the children there.

Street Sisters

A camera is a powerful tool. I’ve always felt that with a camera in hand I’m able to more easily connect with people I don’t know. The past two days I spent at Street Sisters Daycare and brought along my camera to photograph the experience. I have never in my life received a reaction to being photographed like the ones I received there. Once I got out my camera I was swarmed with children shoving their faces and fingers into my camera. After I snapped a picture they would scream and jump up and down until I showed it to them because they were so excited to see themselves on camera. It was really a touching experience because most of the kids could speak little to no English. My camera was able to speak in a way that we could both understand. Although I was able to get some candid moments, I’ve decided to show a few portraits instead. These images speak to my experience with these kids more than anything else. With each photograph I can hear them yell,  "Oburoni, picture!!!”