On Sunday, May 27…
My first two weeks here in Accra have been a fantastic and eye-opening experience. It has not always been easy, but I welcome the challenge and want to get as much out of my time here as I can. After arriving, I spent my first few days touring around the city and adjusting to the differences in life and culture. I started by exploring the main attractions and landmarks of the city. I spent some time at Independence Square, the memorial of the first president, Kwame Nkrumah, and Jamestown, which was the major location of the British in Ghana during the era of colonization and slavery. These experiences were a great way to start my time in Ghana as I gained a better understanding of the culture and history of my new home.
After experiencing a brief introduction to Ghana, I began to work on starting my survey. I began to conduct pilot surveys with people at my hostel and got some great feedback on how to better word questions to properly express the questions I am trying to ask. This was a really productive tactic, and I feel much better now about my survey and the results that I hope to get from it.
After my first week, I began to feel comfortable exploring the city on my own and began approaching people for my surveys. The adjustments I made to some of the questions to make them easier to understand have made it much easier to conduct my research. So far, I have had really good reactions to asking if people would want to take part in my survey. I am very thankful for Professor McDonnell's methods class as it helped to prepare me for the somewhat awkward task of approaching people on the streets.
To benefit my surveys, I have also been making an effort to try and experience all of the different types of food that Ghana has to offer. What better way is there to study a foreign culture of food than to experience it first hand? I have been amazed at how great the food here is. There has yet to be something I have eaten here that I have not enjoyed. Even eating some meals with my hands instead of silverware was enjoyable once I got past the initial shock of putting my hands in soup. It has also proven to be very beneficial in my surveys, as many respondents so far have mentioned specific foods that they enjoy or have explained how certain foods have an impact on their overall food choice.