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Postcard: Branyelina Caceres’19

October 6, 2017 at 11:22 am

Postcard: Branyelina Caceres’19Male Dungeon in Cape Coast slave castle in Cape Coast, Ghana

Branyelina Caceres’19
New York, N.Y.
Ghana, University of Ghana, ISEP Study Abroad
Major: Psychology

I chose to study abroad in Ghana because I knew I had a lot of connections with West African culture in particular because of my heritage. As a Dominican-American from Washington Heights, I did not think that studying abroad or going to Africa would be an option for me. I came to Ghana to engage in conversations and look for opportunities to apply what I have learned thus far in my field and expand my horizons in a new environment. I pictured myself in an environment different from Beloit where I am not reminded that I am one of the very few people of color in a classroom. The biggest difference between Beloit College and my university/program would be the dynamic of things. Everything moves at a slower pace, which seems to feel less overwhelming than usual.

I have been on multiple excursions with my program, including places like Cape Coast and Kumasi, where I went to the several craft shops, wood carving, and Kente cloth weaving villages. Some of the basic rituals or routines that I have observed and have become adapted to is greeting people with your right hand because the left hand would be considered disrespectful. Also, anyone who is old enough to be your aunt or uncle should be called by Aunty or Uncle before their name as a means of respect.

Cultural Arts Centre in Accra, GhanaCultural Arts Centre in Accra, Ghana

Some of the foods that I have tried since I have been here are jollof rice with chicken and fufu with goat and light soup. Eating fufu is different because it is eaten with the hands and it is not proper etiquette to eat it with utensils.

"Forward ever, backward never" Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum in Accra, Ghana
"Forward ever, backward never"
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum in Accra, Ghana

My proudest moment abroad so far has been going to the slave ship castle in Cape Coast and Elmina part of Ghana. It is an experience that I would recommend to anyone who is part of the African diaspora because learning and living through the history behind the castles is an eye opener.