Juliana Bateman - 2005
"The academic year at University of Ghana is now in full swing and I am reveling in the opportunity to learn so much about Africa. I am studying the history of great ancient civilizations of Africa including Egypt, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and more. I am also studying African Literature, Indigenous West African Religions, Ghanaian politics and society, Twi, and Ghanaian dance and drumming. The dance class is great fun – there is live drumming for every class. They circle us up… and it turns into a party every time."
"Learning Twi has been immensely challenging, my attempts at correct pronunciation are most often hilarious. But, most Ghanaians love it when I try, so I continue to strive to learn this beautiful language."
"This last weekend I had an experience of a lifetime. I had the opportunity to be in Cape Coast on the first Saturday of September for the Fetu Afahye festival. This festival celebrates the completion of another year and it honors the local chiefs, priests and priestesses, and Asafo companies."
"One thing that is so profound to me is the amazing diversity here in Africa. It is by far the most ethnically diverse place on earth. Even here in Ghana, which is the size of Oregon, there are the Ga, Ewe, Dangme, the Krobo, and the Akan which are comprised of the Asante, Akyem, Akuapem, Kuahu, Brong, Akuamu, Fante, Agona, Mzema, and the Wassa." And that is just in the Southern part of the country. In the North there are the Mambrussi, Dagbon, Manumba, Gonja, and the Wala. To think of the great cultural diversity in the rest of the continent is mind-boggling. So how can anyone generalize about Africa?"
"My African literature class is my favorite class. Can reading African literature while living in Ghana and being taught by a great Ghanaian poet, Dr. Awooner, get much better?"