After returning to U.S. Soil for the first time in almost a month, I was finally back home to New York. It certainly felt different coming home then it did leaving May 10th for the airport. Those were some of the quickest three weeks of my life. Part of that was because of how occupied we were throughout the trip, and I mean that in a good way. From seeing Radio and TV Stations, to weekly reflections and blog posts, to staying with our homestay families, and to making short documentaries connected to our multimedia projects, the days were filled with things to do. Reflecting on this study away, I have come back a better and more mature individual, with a better grip on digital media and understanding of how Ghanaians view America, and what media aspects influence these views.
In terms of the home culture expectations, I did not know what to expect going into it. Because I was one of the two guys going on the trip, I pictured to be with an older women who had grandchildren who came over to play. I soon found out that that was not the case. I had an older couple as homestay grandparents, however the man was more vocal and engaging when me and Jacob were around. Although my perception of the home culture differed from reality, I loved every second of my time there. I got to be very close with Grandpa Albert, and learned a lot about who he was when he was younger, and gained wisdom on the importance of education. We bonded so much that Jacob and I made a short documentary on his life and what we got out of the experience.
Many of my expectations going into the trip were that I would be getting exposure to digital media in the form of multimedia projects that could potentially involve making a documentary of some sort. Throughout the trip, I learned vital components that are essential to making videos of that sort, which include b-rolls and white balancing the lens. I was also able to incorporate my own music as a background track in both the multimedia story video and the short documentary that Jacob and I made on Grandpa Albert. Like I have mentioned in pervious reflections, this trip has helped prepare me mentally for what Digi Comm will expect from me going into the fall of my Sophomore year. These new skills will also look great on my resume, and will be great to reference to future employers in the digital media field who are hiring graduating seniors with this kind of background.
Many people back home thought I was going on this trip to do service projects and provide aid to the people there. Although we did do a service project, that can be very misleading. This May experience was designed to gain knowledge of Ghanaian media and culture, so when we went to that service project at that small village in Krofu, we did not just help build a library. We helped build a library, and built relationships with the chief and participated in traditional Ghanaian dances with the children. So were the expectations I had of this program abroad met? Yes, indeed they were.