Loves colorful clothing, President of African Society of GU,
stays up too late, applying to be a Fulbright Scholar,
imagines herself as the Ghana version of Rory from the Gilmore Girls,
loves Indian Chai tea, wants to write her own book one day.
Without a doubt, Georgetown was the first place where I truly learned to laugh at myself. Call it a coping mechanism, or a distraction from stress and homesickness; the ability to not take oneself too seriously is a tricky skill that I’m still practicing. I spent 18 years in a place that closely resembles an image you’ve seen of an idyllic tropical destination; as I type I can assure you a palm tree is waving in the light breeze, and an avocado or two just dropped from a branch. So, you can imagine the mixture of shock and panic that brewed in my stomach the minute I crossed the threshold of the front gates. It wasn’t the physical distance between DC and my hometown of Accra, Ghana that frightened me. For the first time, I was in a setting where I stuck out clumsily, like a quarterback trying to compete with svelte athletes in immaculate tennis whites. Everyone was so American and “normal”. My accent sounded like brakes screeching on tarmac to my own ears. My African wax print outfits announced themselves rudely before I entered a room. My eyes had been accustomed to a totally different political and cultural landscape to that of my peers. I’m still learning to laugh at my own nerves and timidity, glorying instead in my difference and celebrating the flavor I was adding to a place I have grown to love. I can’t wait to come home, laughing all the way of course!