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Date registered: March 23, 2011

Biography

A little about me: Other than gearing up for the 365 day adventure in a country, continent and culture that I have never experienced, I am a lover of exploring the unknown. ( I guess that is a given.) I love words and everything that can be done with them, the power of independent media and entertainment, people watching, and discovering how connected we all really are. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and for the past four years worked in everything from education to international development to nationally broadcast television entertainment. I've also waited tables and hosted bar trivia.. When asked "Why Ghana?" I reply, "Why not?" I am incredibly excited to see what doors this year in Africa will open up for me.

Latest posts

  1. Navigating Niger: My Last Days in West Africa — October 15, 2012
  2. Pack it Up, Pack it In, I’m Leaving Benin! — October 5, 2012
  3. Around the World in 16 Days… — September 7, 2012
  4. The Final Countdown… — August 6, 2012
  5. Ganvie: The ‘Venice of Africa’.. (kinda.) — July 31, 2012

Most commented posts

  1. Rotary International Presidential Conference — 9 comments
  2. First Day of School! — 9 comments
  3. One Year Older and Wiser: Celebrating My Birthday! — 8 comments
  4. Akwaaba, Mom!!! — 7 comments
  5. Short (true) Stories: A Digest of My Experiences in Ghana — 7 comments

Author's posts listings

May
23

For All You Sports Fans…

Team Will Sy

She kicks to the left…. counters to the right….one final shot.. she SCORES!!!!!! This past weekend I was invited to play in the Cotonou Embassy Soccer Tournament for the USA Team. France, The European Union, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the United Nations all met at 9 am to see who would come out as official …

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May
16

Learning from USAID, Peanuts, and “Sun Sickness”

bed net pic

I have been working for USAID/Benin (U.S. Agency for International Development) for a little over a month now, and have learned so much about both development issues in Africa and how the U.S. government operates within the arena. To give a little background about USAID for those who aren’t as familiar, it was  created when …

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Apr
14

My Return ‘Home’ to Ghana

coast of togo

Knowing that I would be re-entering the world of the 9 to 5 day this week  (actually mine is 8 to 6, but who’s keeping track) I took the opportunity to return to my first African home country and took the nine hour bus to Ghana last week. My friend, Sangeeta, who is the Fulbright …

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Mar
28

Meet Pete, Songhai, and… my new JOB!

Pete and Sy feed fish

I have mentioned in previous posts that one of the biggest differences between Ghana and Benin (other than the languages) is mode of public transportation. Zemijans, or what the average American would know as a motorcycle, is the Beninese taxi. The zem drivers all wear yellow shirts to signify their profession, though the color of …

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Mar
22

And on the Other Side of the World….

bestfriends

One side effect of living in a developing nation, thousands of miles away from the people you love most in the world, is loneliness.  While there are plenty of interesting locals and worldly expats to meet and experiences to be had, it can’t replace your best friend who hugged you hardest when second you found …

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Feb
27

Oui, Oui, Ouidah!

3 faces statue

This weekend, Alainna and I took a shared taxi to the historic beach side township of Ouidah. About an hour west of Cotonou, Ouidah is home to a Musee D’Histoire that was once a Portuguese fort. As the museum’s exhibits showed, I found it interesting  that while it often assumed to be true, Europeans did …

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Feb
20

Abomey: City of Voodoo Kings, Fetishes, and One Cute Chameleon

A and a goat

This weekend I ventured north with three other American girls to the historical town of Abomey. Amanda, Sarah, Alainna and I all come from different parts of the country and have different reasons for being in West Africa, but we had a blast exploring more of the country and it was nice to be around …

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Feb
17

Don’t Eat Like a Rich Kid: My Lesson in Food Etiquette


In the past, I have devoted blogs to what I have been eating in West Africa, but recently I realized it is just as important to share my lessons in how people eat. This realization came to me at the dinner table, when Boris complained that I “eat like a rich person” after noticing that …

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Feb
09

Getting Around Benin: Hiss and Zem.

amanda on zim

Some of you may recall my stories of tro-tros in Ghana. The main mode of public transportation, they were gutted vans that were refit to seat up to 30 people. I learned from my experiences in tro-tros that Ghanaians have very little need for personal space, as I would be crammed next to strangers for …

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Feb
04

First Days in Cotonou…

mbenin

First off, I apologize for the delay in this post. The internet in Benin is even worse than Ghana, if that’s possible. My first week in my new home country has been very educational and exciting. I have learned a little about the history and culture here, and a lot about its public transportation. Benin …

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