Tallahassee Community College students came on a trip of a lifetime to Ghana during their Spring Break of 2019. The group arrived in Accra, Ghana, on March 16, 2019, to begin their tour.
This is the second year that professor Forster Agama, the group’s leader, has successfully coordinated the Study Abroad Trip to Ghana.
On March 17, the group had a guided tour of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and the Independence Square where they learned about the history of Gold Coast and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the 1st Ghanaian to be elected President of the Republic of Ghana. They later visited the University of Ghana and then continued on to Ho, the capital city of the Volta Region.
Yasmine A. Ameli, a first-year student at TCC, said, “This trip was everything I needed rolled into the span of 10 days. I discovered parts of myself and a certain kind of peace I never knew existed. We tend to forget what life is about in the midst of school, work and our personal lives. This … gave me more insight to what my life’s purpose is. I am forever grateful for what this opportunity provided. Africa is (truly) where it’s at.”
While in the Volta Region, the group had the opportunity to visit the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary and Sacred Grove. This community was inhabited by the Sacred True Mona Monkeys, who were believed to have lived there prior to the arrival of the ancestors of the local community. The group learned about the community, their traditions, and then later went on a hiking tour to Wli Falls, which is the highest waterfalls in Ghana.
“Wli – allowed me to flow,” Giovanni King, a TCC student said. “I enjoyed visiting the Wli waterfalls; it was definitely worth the hike and I would do it again if given the chance.”
Jazmine Hawkins, a sophomore student at TCC comments, “The only way to describe the trip to Ghana is absolutely incredible. It was a big culture shock for me since I knew nothing about Ghana except that it was in Africa prior to this trip. Seeing how people live differently in a whole other continent was just incredible. I loved everything about it and hope to go back someday.”
The enthrallment did not end there; the group continued on to the Ashanti King´s Palace in Kumasi, which was used by the Ashanti kings until 1974. They explored this historic site, visited the museum as well as stopped at the Kente clothing weaving village, Adanwomase in the Ashanti Region to learn about the creation and the tradition of Kente clothes.
At the Adinkra village, the students were introduced to the traditional meaning of the Adinkra symbols of the Ashantis. They also participated in a workshop and designed their own print clothes.
“Growing up in a similar culture to the one in Ghana, this trip was nostalgic,” Zamia S. Taleghani, a first-year student at TCC, said. “I always knew what was presented in media about Africa was not always depicted honestly. I am now equipped with the experience this trip offered to combat the negative stereotypes and ideas presented in our everyday society. It was such a breath of fresh air, literally and metaphorically.”
The expedition to the Assin Manso Slave River was breathtaking, to say the least. This was where the captured Africans from the Northern part of Ghana and other parts of Africa had their last bath. The group continued on to Cape Coast Castle (dungeons and the door of no return) which was used to hold the captured before they were loaded onto ships and sold in the Americas, especially the Caribbean as slaves.
Jasmine Morris, a TCC student states, “Overall this was a great trip. I enjoyed learning about Ghanaian culture. It was quite an experience to be able to walk through and see special places contained in history. Being able to travel to a land in which my ancestors lived was especially emotional and exciting. All of the tours were great learning experiences and I learned a lot of information.”
As the trip advanced to its final days, the group visited a typical Ghanaian village close to Cape Coast and were welcomed by the elders of the village during an official greeting ceremony. The group toured the primary school being built by the community, made monetary as well as material donations to the school, and held a school lesson for the children. After taking lunch in the village, the students were treated to a typical cultural performance by the women and children of the village.
“What I enjoyed during the trip was going to the village and visiting the school and the church,” Muraiye Pierre, a sophomore student at TCC said. “The home-cooked meal that they made for us was delicious. I honestly wish I could have spent more time with them. The fact that they were so grateful and excited for the little that we brought and donated filled my heart with joy. Two of the kids from the village gifted me with drawings that they made that is now placed beautifully on my wall in my room. I will remember them forever.”
Finally, the group stopped at the Kakum National Park, an undisturbed virgin rain forest and one of the most frequently visited national parks in Ghana. They enjoyed the view from the Canopy Walkway over seven bridges and tree-tops at 40m height.
Mary Wilson, a TCC student says, “Traveling is a huge component of a study abroad experience. I was grateful for the opportunity to visit historical sites such as the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Memorial Park, W.E.B. DuBois Centre, and the Assin Manso Slave River. I will treasure these memories forever.”
“Visiting Ghana was by far the most amazing and humbling experience I’ve ever experienced. I’m eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to visit such a beautiful country, full of beautiful people of all shades of colour,” said Torrence Harrell, a final year student at TCC.
Hillary Eaton, one of TCC’s student travellers, said, “My overall experience in this program, and in Ghana, was very life changing. I feel very blessed to have been able to return to my roots and learn about a culture that was once lost to me and so many people.”
For more information about this or future trips to Ghana, contact Forster Agama at 850-201-8058 or [email protected].