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Goodbye West Africa

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Farewells by Rachel

I am sitting at the living room table sipping room temperature black coffee. I leave in two days, 3am Friday morning. I have a week’s amount of work to cram into the next 48 hours… one more final paper, a presentation, two exams, a last half-day interning, and packing. All I want to do is take my camera and run …

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Tips for Accra

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Tips by Rachel

When I chose to come to Ghana, I wanted an escape. I needed a completely new environment to take a step back, look around, and breathe. This was my second semester studying abroad, so I took my past advice and applied it again. I knew the semester would fly by. I knew I had to take advantage of everything. But, I …

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Running Towards Noise

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Bliss by Rachel

In Ghana, the majority of people ride tro tros for public transportation. A tro tro is a minibus that travels back and forth on a certain route, picking up people and dropping them off wherever they please. My friend Will and I decided to go on one last weekend adventure before the end of the semester. We decided to go to Kokrobite, …

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Ghana: Africa for Beginners

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Tips by Lydia Cap

NYU Accra is arguably the most underrated, and definitely the smallest, study abroad program. As a result, it is difficult for students to really get an idea of what to expect before coming here because information on the program’s website is lacking and finding students who have already spent time here is rare. So here is my list of things …

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Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Travail by Rachel

For Easter break, my friend Aashna and I decided to travel to Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. We decided to fly there from Accra, which would take about 45 minutes, rather than take a series of buses across the coast for ten hours. I had read online that one could just buy a visa at the airport for Cote D’Ivoire, and since …

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Fleeting Bliss

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Bliss by Lydia Cap

I have decided that this post will serve as an extension of my somewhat controversial and disturbing post on strangers. For those of you who haven’t read it, I explained that I have no hope in ever meeting a stranger who doesn’t want something from me: be it money, “friendship,” or a US visa. Although I still agree with many …

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Kaya the Diviner

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Strangers by Rachel

Apparently, Ghana is ranked one of the friendliest countries in the world. Ghanaians are well known for their hospitality and extroversion. As an introvert and a female, I found this intense welcomeness towards foreigners very off-putting at first. Even now, I sometimes have trouble understanding why Ghanaians will come up to me and play the 20 questions game. The possibilities flicker through my head–I’m either in …

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Somebody’s Heart is Burning

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Books-2 by Rachel

For the second book assignment I read Somebody’s Heart is Burning: A Woman Wanderer in Africa by Tanya Shaffer. Similar to the first book I read, Black Gold of the Sun, this is another memoir based on travels throughout Ghana. But since Shaffer is a woman born in California with no connection to Ghana (other than the desire to travel somewhere new), I could relate more …

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No New “Friends”

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Strangers by Lydia Cap

“Strangers are not really conceived as individuals, but as strangers of a particular type.” This line towards the end of Georg Simmel’s essay resonated with me because as a white person in Africa, I feel I am not seen for who I am but for my skin color and how locals can use it for personal benefit. I have been …

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Patience and Endurance

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Genius loci by Rachel

Patience. The food will get here in an hour or so–in the meantime, enjoy the restaurant’s fan and be grateful they have enough power to use it. Look at all of the Ghanaians around you, sitting in these plastic chairs, spacing out under the intense heat, lazily glancing towards the TV that plays hip hop music videos on repeat. Look at that girl’s …

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Black Gold of the Sun

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Books-2 by Lydia Cap

For our second book assignment, I chose to read Black Gold of the Sun: Searching for Home in Africa and Beyond, by Ekow Eshun. Eshun was born in London to Ghanaian parents. He travels to Ghana at the age of thirty-three to search for an answer to the question, “where are you from?” Black Gold of the Sun tells two …

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The Unspoken Rhythm of Life

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Genius loci by Lydia Cap

I’ve struggled a great deal with this post, and I don’t exactly understand why. If someone were to ask me to describe what stands out to me the most as “Ghanaian,” I would have no problem answering: the spicy carb-based food, the friendly disposition of locals, and the colorful clothing. But none of these things strikes me as encompassing the …

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Green, Blue, and Forget-Me-Not

In Accra, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Art by Rachel

The contemporary art scene in Ghana is still very… underground. There is one art museum in Accra, where the photo above was taken, but I would not compare it to the MoMa or even to any art gallery in the Western world. This museum, the Artist Alliance, collects such a large amount of art from West African artists that it doesn’t even have enough …