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.
It was January 16, 2006 that I was offered and I accepted an internship with the Philadelphia Inquirer. It was that very Monday that I accepted a position I hadn’t expected to get, a position with the city desk of a large, historical, urban daily.
I think about the semester I spent walking the streets of Philadelphia with an Inquirer ID around my neck and a steno pad stuck in my back pocket, those felt-tip black pens, Hermes, and DocCenter. I made mistakes, mistakes as inexplicable as your palms sweating when you go to shake some silly celebrity’s hand. I went to court without a pen, to a press conference without a pad, and an interview without both. I called detectives without remembering why and had quotes without remembering from whom.
I covered the courts on Fridays. Allow me to demystify that. Most weeks that meant I sat in the Criminal Justice Center on Filbert Street waiting for jury deliberations to end or chasing down grieving widows to get a quotation on how the verdict made her feel.
This is a placeholder. A beginning of profound visions, to be sure. No one who gives it any thought doubts that the internet is the home of the next great real estate boom. Westward expansion damn near into the 20th Century left land in the United States cheap enough that it was devalued to the point many who could decided not to pursue its acquisition.
Today, I purchased the ChristopherWink.com domain name for $10.19. Cheap enough that internet space couldn’t be valuable. Yet, still people sit on domain names. I hear there isn’t a three-letter combination .com website that isn’t already purchased.
What I am suggesting is that I don’t know what I want to do with this website. I have tried before and found it self-indulgent. To be true, paying for an address with my own name still seems it, but I press on because I can’t help but think the inevitable progression of things will force everyone to need a home online. This is mine. Waiting for things to put in the attic… and living room… and kitchen
So, I plan on tinkering and learning and making the best looking “Seat Reserved” sign I can. I am particularly unsure of this whole weblog thing. I don’t have the time, interest or belief that anyone cares enough to warrant me updating daily on my life or even what happens around me. I might chronicle the important events of my life, expecting this to, someday, be a means to communicate with those who time won’t allow me to in person.
For now, I see this as the wordiest resume or largest business card I could ever give to potential employers. I will treat it as such. Check back, maybe that won’t be as lame as it seems.
I went to New Orleans with Common Ground to offer some post-Hurricane Katrina support. Mostly, I stayed with a hundred other volunteers on cots in a high school gymnasium and worked in small teams to salvage homes in the Ninth Ward.
I was driven to provide some service, having worked in a shelter in Philadelphia of victims.