My Time in Ghana by Sophia Stoios

Akwaaba! My name is Sophia Stoios. I am a peer advisor here at the Center for International Education. In the May of my freshmen year, I had the opportunity of going on a Maymester in Ghana. We were able to travel all around the south of the country and stay in a variety of locations from big cities like Accra to tiny villages like Wli. One of the most memorable moments from that study abroad was when we got to meet with a local Chief in Wli. With the help of a translator, we were able to talk to the Chief about the interaction between local village politics and Parliament. It was interesting to learn how content the chief was with the hands-off approach that their local representative took. After we were done discussing politics, we participated in a local honor tradition. In Ghana, it is custom to gift the chief a bottle of gin whenever you meet with them. After the meeting, the chief is then obliged to pour some gin from a previous gift into a small glass. The glass is then passed around to everyone in the room. Each person pours a little out on the ground “for the gods” as a sign of respect and then take one small sip. The chief does this lasts and recites a prayer. After this, the meeting is officially over. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience! 

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