Sunday, April 22, 2012

Germany vs. Ghana

I started researching scholarships since I really wanted to go abroad & scholarships would be the only way to go for me since otherwise they are super expensive. I applied for the YES Abroad & CBYX scholarship and I have received both! I have never been the person who gets everything they try for so this is a new turn for me! It is also a turns out to leave me with a very difficult decision that I have to make before Monday the 23rd. Germany is extremely beautiful and I have always wanted to learn German while Ghana is an adventure which I can't even imagine. Another BIG factor for me is money. Yes they are both "full scholarships" but YES Abroad is fuller if you know what I mean... Also, the YES program is built around understanding countries with significant muslim populations to help bridge the gap between America and the Muslim world society which is very much what I want to help do. I am extremely interested in the Muslim religion I have read many books on Islam and hope to learn Arabic some day in the future. My main reservation about Ghana is that they speak English and the school is in English which is a huge disappointment for me since I really wanted to learn a language but I am hoping that even though I won't be learning a language, I will be learning a ton about a way of life completely different from my own. I know this year will be a challenge but I believe I am up for it and know that in Ghana I will have an awesome group of friends (the other YESers) :)

So the verdict is Ghana, hence my blog title I'm Ghana Go For It. I came up with that cheesy title when I said what the heck? I'm going to go for it (referring to Ghana) and realized that would be a perfect blog name.

I have spent my vacation making this excruciatingly hard decision and obsessively researching the country I will be living in for 10 months. It seems so full of life :)

Here are some pictures I stole offline of Ghana. I have been overloading on Ghana everything: Reading past YES blogs, stalking their Ghana photos on Fb, watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, you know the whole nine yards.
The dirt there is reddish like in Virginia!

So I have heard that there are not washing machines in Ghana other than us humans (hand-washing ftw) and that showers consist of a bucket of water. Man, this will be an adventure. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Introduction (How I got to where I am)

Hello, if you don't know me, name is Lydia and I live in the beautiful town of New Gloucester, Maine. I am currently a senior at my local high school GNGHS. (You can check out their website it's new & pretty awesome looking :) Here a picture I snagged from their website :

Anyway, I am getting off topic. Why, you most likely are wondering, am I going to Ghana? Well, I was lucky enough to receive a YES Abroad Scholarship to Ghana. These are fully funded scholarships from the U.S. State Department to 11* different countries with significant Muslim populations. With this scholarship I will be traveling to Ghana to live for a year with a host family and attend school there.  (*9 countries this year~This year they aren't sending people to Egypt & Mali due to the unrest in both places.) 
More About YES Abroad: I'll do a post specifically about this later but for now here is a link to their website.

About Ghana:

Ghana is located in West Africa between Côte d'Ivoire (the Ivory Coast) and Togo. Know as the Gold Coast under colonial rule, Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African nations to gain independence from European Colonists in 1957.