My guest post on studying in Ghana and other personal travel blogs of interest

dateline-accra

I was asked to guest post on Dateline Accra, the small, personal travel blog of Stephen Zook, a young journalist whose spirit I adored when I was editing his copy a few years ago at The Temple News, the college newspaper I once worked and this year he’ll lead. He is studying in Accra, the capital city of Ghana in West Africa, this summer.

This was my contribution:

Don’t be afraid of the satchel water.

Pretty quickly on in the urbanized sprawl of greater Accra in coastal Ghana, you just might notice that the kids buy plastic bags of water, a corner of which they bite off to chug the contents. If no one convinces you otherwise, you just might stick to the bottled variety.

Don’t be afraid of the satchel water — that much I learned.

I spent a portion of summer 2005 studying at the University of Ghana in East Legon outside of the capital city of Accra. It wasn’t long enough to fully familiarize myself with even the university, set aside the city, the country or the region and Hell if I have even a taste of the continent, as one of the great lessons from travel should be that cultural learning comes from decades not days in a place. I did, however, pick up that the satchel water was refreshing, cheap and unique. Read the rest here.

Before he left, I promised him a beer when he returned. Now, I think he owes me one.

I hope he has a transcendent summer, explores and shares everything he can on that site. I also hope he builds traffic to share his story. He’s using Twitter, though he has some ground he can certainly make, as he’ll have plenty of compelling stories to tell.

Of course, this made me realize I follow a handful of low-traffic, personal travel blogs of friends or acquaintances who offer interesting reading. After the jump, peep seven such blogs that might be worth your time, whether you know the writers and their locations or not.

Continue reading

Number of Views:7671

A West African Summer in 499 Words

By Christopher Wink | August 29, 2005 | Travel Reflection

Africa was not real to me.  It was imaginary; I saw a place where elephants roam and people starve.  I saw children with flies around their faces in villages and huts and tribes.  I saw in stereotypes and misunderstandings and prejudices and lies.  That was all before I arrived at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana.

I gave two months of my teenage life to West Africa, and I was given in return a lifetime of awareness and understanding.  I studied in a classroom at the University of Ghana, but Ayi Kwei Armah and Abu Abarry didn’t teach me nearly as much as the cab rides and post offices and market women did.  Reading about West African culture in my overpriced course packet never satisfied my hunger as well as freshly pounded banku and groundnut soup did.  I played basketball with Octung and Salam to hear them speak in proverbs.  I laughed with Tonko and met too many Kwesis to remember.

Continue reading

Number of Views:2636

Greetings from Abroad: a first e-mail from study abroad

By Christopher Wink | Jul 12, 2005 | First email from Ghana

Date: Tue 12 Jul 12:27:32 EDT 2005
From: Christopher Wink | Add To Address Book | This is Spam
Subject: Greetings from Abroad
To: Family

All:

Sound the trumpeters for I have come to announce my arrival. I am here at the University of Ghana in Legon outside of Accra, and all is well.  I am sorry for not writing earlier, however international calling is somewhat sketchy and internet access is inconvenient, time consuming, and altogether nauseating.

That being said, I don’t know how often I will write, so I better do things real swell now.

The airplane ride was … long.  But it did get me a stamp from Germany and a visa and stamp from Ghana in my passport, the first such signs of an experienced travel I have encountered.

Continue reading

Number of Views:1466

Studying Abroad in Ghana, West Africa Summer 2005

Study Abroad in Ghana | July 06 to August 16, 2005

In summer 2005, I studied at the University of Ghana in West Africa. It was, unsurprisingly, a startling experience. I was moved enough to film and write and photograph. Here is a small collection of it all.

Read the first email I sent to family and friends in the first few days of my West African summer here.

Lift Every Voice preview

“Lift Every Voice” is an hour-long film that chronicles that summer 2005, during which I studied at the University of Ghana in West Africa. This is a 30-second preview of it.

Continue reading

Number of Views:5029