Monday, July 25, 2011

Speechless... for once

As I sit on the floor of my room, I have struggled to find the words for this.... my last blog post of my stay in Ghana, my last blog post for one of the biggest growing experiences I've ever had, my last blog post for the summer that changed my life.

The other day, Emmanuel asked me what it was about Ghana that I loved so much. I turned to him and said : "You know Emmanuel, I never know how to put it into words. It could be because I have been wanting to come to Ghana for four years and I'm finally here. Or maybe, it is because I already loved this place and these people before I set foot here. But really, I think it is because when I am here, there is something that touches me soul... that fills a need I have that I cannot put into words."

Truly, that must be it. Ghana, in a way that no other place has, touched my soul and when I leave, that part of my soul will be empty again.... But you know, Steve Tyler can always express things better than me so I'll leave you with the words of a song that I have fallen in love with this summer (due to it being on Michelle's playlist)::

"I could spend my life in this sweet surrender/ I could stay lost in this moment forever/ for every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure/

I don't want to close my eyes/ I dont want to fall alseep cause I'd miss you babe and I don't want to miss a thing

Even when I dream of you/ the sweetest dream will never do/ I'd still miss you babe/ and I don't want to miss a thing"

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Scene: I am sitting at a funeral, dressed in all black when the music begins to play. I am bobbing my head and there are one or two people dancing but not very much. Across the center, sitting on the other set of chairs, is a woman. She too is wearing all black, and I see her motion to me. She moves her arms like she is dancing and motions for me to go up and dance. I hesitate at first but then get up out of my chair. As I walk towards the center, I motion for her to join me. She does. Smiling, we dance together for the song. The dance is simple:: just rocking back and forth between feet, arms bent in a ninety degree angle, occasionally waving our handkerchiefs in the air. After the song, we clasp hands as she escorts me back to my chair. I do not know this woman's name, I do not even know how she knows the deceased but I consider her my sister(and I know she considers me hers) because we danced together.

I originally came to Ghana expecting to learn all about traditional dancing and my real hope was to learn some of the dances myself. As most people find out, research seldom ends the way it began and I quickly found out that dancing in Wiamoase was scarce, and certainly wasn't being taught as I imagined it.

BUT I have had some sweet experiences with dancing, like the one listed above, where I have been able to bond with people across our language barriers, across our cultural barriers. So does dance unify in Ghana? YES IT DOES! It has a unifying power because you don't have to be of a certain tribe, or a certain clan to participate; because if two people are dancing together, they are celebrating or mourning together.

Monday, July 11, 2011


makes Corrine a lazy girl. I realized I haven't put anything about the MAIN reason I'm in Ghana:: TO DO RESEARCH!! So I've been busy meeting people, having fun with Michelle and Deidre all while trying to collect data for some anthropological paper that I can write when I get back. I have recently been struggling with how to connect the data I've collected through informal interviews (my favorite kind) with the theories I focused on before coming to this wonderful place.

Well guess what? All that hard work payed off because I was able to make a connection... just on Thursday. Because it's so new, you can't judge it too harshly if it turns out to be a bunch of bologna. (ps. totally random but haven't you even wondered why bologna ends with an A? I wonder everytime I write that word) Anyhoo, here it is::

I have seen this reoccuring trend of Ghanaians trying to embrace nationalism and their national identity (part A) but their tribal identity is holding them back (Part B).

It is almost a catch 22 because you cannot get rid of their tribal identity (or at least, that is what people tell me) but they have thought of some solutions themselves to promote unity within the country by removing tribal lines as a form of identity and making it more of a form of heritage (Part C).

The evidence is this:

Part A: Their love for democracy and the 'colonial government' which they call it. calling Ghana their motherland. Their interest in national development. Their love for Ghana versus other African countries. Also, how high this idea of unity falls on their importance scale as well as one of the major problems in their country

Part B: Politics playing along tribal lines, creating un-unity among people because of fighting. Uneducated people still holding on to 'ignorant' views of other tribes, and their still practicing of traditional ruling, funerals, festivals.

Part C: Teaching of nation building in schools, education as a whole is the number one answer I get because it is what 'dispels the ignorance of people' and promotings intertribal groupings, intertribal marriages is probably tied for number one answer because it is how to get rid of 'pure' race.

So that is what I have and I am STOKED to spend the next three weeks gathering data to support this..... It is when we are at home typing up fieldnotes and coding them for these ideas that I always tell M and D "I LOVE RESEARCH! I LOVE CODING! I LOVE RESEARCH!"

Needless to say, I think I'm in the right major :)


Saturday, July 2, 2011


So we finally measured our leg hair..... and we decided it would be best to do a rough average length. Are you ready?

Coming in third place is..... DEIDRE with an average of 12 centimeters!

Second place is...... MICHELLE averaging about 15 centimeters, though it doesn't look like it.

That only leaves one more to be first place.... beating them all.... CORRINE with OVER 15 centimeters (roughly around 17 centimeters) for her average!

The contest will continue till the end of July. We'll see if any of the stragglers can catch up..... only time will tell....


If you know the musical reference from the title, you rock. if not, you should be ashamed of yourself. so two weeks ago, we went to the CAPE COAST for our mid-summer retreat. it was a whirlwind of an adventure that was packed with too many things to write about in one blog post. so..... it's picture time! YAY! this one will even have a video attached :)

OUR BUS! It cost 5 Ghana cedi to ride this thing to the coast and we sat all the way in the back (anyone else find that somewhat ironic?)

At the restaurant we walked forever to find! Michelle and Deidre splurged on a little treat-- soda

I walk out of the bathroom to find this outside the restaurant! They are a dance theatre company that practices everyday at 400pm outside of this place. I'll attach a video because they were soooooooo good!

Best statue in all of Ghana! In the Bradt Travel Guide it is called "the crab shrine".

No album of pictures is complete without at least one JUMPING picture!

When walking along the beach, we spotted the FISHERMEN! They chanted a song and pulled the nets in.... it was so much fun to watch them for a while-- truly remarkable how insync they were with one another!

Welcome to the Cape Coast Castle. This picture is of the Male Slave Dungeon. See the tiny window up top-- that would be the only light/fresh air that 200 African men would see/feel while kept here for on average six weeks waiting for the ships to arrive. Our tour guide ended the tour by saying the important that we never let this happen again so "LET US UNITE IN DIVERSITY!"

We ended the trip in Kumasi wh
ere we found a restuarant that sells pizza. Looks delish no? It was actually pretty good.... the crust? divine.

The trip was great but we were ready to get back home (and watch The Sound of Music) :)