Orientation

Saturday, September 02, 2006

By Ruth Groenhout

Orientation has begun this week. Thursday the students were introduced to the University of Ghana—and one student’s reaction was, “It’s so much more beautiful than it even looks in pictures!” They’ve been properly registered, identified, and settled into their dorm rooms. And Margaret, who watches who enters and leaves the student hostel, has already memorized everyone’s names and greets them all as they enter and leave. She provides a nice sense of security and belonging.
Friday orientation mostly involved lectures—about diseases one can catch in Ghana, why one would want to avoid them, how to maximize the chances of NOT getting them. (Malaria’s our biggest worry around here, but we’re all carefully taking our medicines and hope to avoid coming down with it.) Then there were lectures on security, and on the general demographics of Ghana, and an introduction to the Twi language. The students are now hypothetically capable of greeting each other in Twi, and to negotiate prices (sort of) in the marketplace. Today, Saturday, we all had our first lesson in riding trotros.

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