by Kamaria Carnes
I was born and raised in Everett, just a quick 20 minute drive north from the UW campus where I’m currently majoring in psychology with a minor in diversity. I attended Mariner High School and since graduating I have taken up a hobby of traveling. I have been to Hawaii, Mexico, New York, and New Jersey in the last two years. Besides this, I love food! I am known to find any excuse to go out to eat and try new things. I am definitely looking forward to trying some Ghanaian cuisine. In my free time I enjoy surfing the internet, crocheting scarves, playing volleyball and occasionally learning how to play my ukulele.
It’s been a long process preparing for this trip as far as securing finances, filling out paperwork in time and getting the necessary medication. I’m so worried about getting to Ghana and finding out while I’m there that I forgot something! So I’ve been tediously making sure I have everything set. I’m pretty sure Jo-Nathan (one of my advisors on the trip), has my email and phone number committed to memory from the amount of times I’ve contacted him asking questions! A few days ago I actually took care of my last and most important shot, the Yellow Fever vaccination. That’s one more check off of my checklist for sure!
The Ghana study abroad program really stood out to me for several reasons. One of the biggest factors that swayed me was witnessing the sense of community within the group that attended Sankofa I (Sankofa is the name for our trip. Sankofa literally means to “go back and take.”) At a large university, and even life, it is imperative to have a group of people that you can turn to for guidance, a shoulder to lean on or even a boost of confidence. The trip also offers an opportunity for personal development. Being African-American and having roots in Africa, it will be interesting to get a piece of my history, even if I may not be from Ghana specifically. After I graduate I want to work with people in some form or fashion, but in order for me to be effective as I hope to serve and work with others, I know I need to be the best Kamaria that I can be! As a high school leadership camp counselor, an intern at the Husky football office and a newly appointed OMA&D Student Ambassador, along with other activities I’m involved in, I hope that this trip will add to my arsenal of experiences that will help me better relate to others. Besides all of this I want to travel and see the world! So Sankofa will be one of the first stepping stones to fulfilling this dream!
I am so excited to be a part of the amazing group of staff and students that make up Sankofa II and to have my first study abroad experience in Ghana. I know this opportunity will be one of the highlights of my undergrad career here at the UW!