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Naydia Futrell-Peoples: Student Report from 2019 Alternative Winter Break to Ghana

Naydia Futrell-Peoples poses at the top of a building.

Cape Coast, Ghana, what can I say? This experience was nothing short of amazing and life changing. In the beginning, I was anxious; however, upon arrival and the moment I met our group of guides, I immediately felt at home. What I will cherish the most from this trip is the people I met throughout the journey. Day one we met Patrick, Amos, John, and Jen. From the first time we met, they all made me feel less anxious about the trip and ready to see all there was to see. Driving through and staying in Ghana I experienced a feeling I didn’t expect: for the first time, I was not a minority.

The first day we visited two schools. It was interesting to see how “useful” their education was to their future, compared to my own education, which has so many courses that seem irrelevant. From high school, they will know what they will specialize in, whether it be automotive technology, construction, fashion, or something else. The teachers and administrators greeted us with warm welcomes, and to their surprise, we were impressed with their school. The students at the school for the blind and deaf were inspiring and so talented. Finally, the elementary students made my heart melt with their songs and conversation.

Group of elementary students.

Later in the week, we met a lovely group of ladies at the fashion school. Each and every one of them were so helpful. Even though I am sure it was a great load to make all of our clothes in a few days, they did an amazing job, and everyone loved their individual outfits. I also ran into some amazing young men and women at our first work site. They were so intrigued with how little we knew about what they were doing. We sparked a lot of conversation about American foods, schools, and life in general.

Needless to say, the people made the trip. Whether we were working or just relaxing at the beach, they felt like family. I am forever grateful to have gained what I hope to be lifelong friends I in Cape Coast. I hope that I am able to visit again.

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