This past week our jet-lagged brains were under fire, absorbing unfamiliar sounds and smells, stimulated by the constant exploration of Accra. Our group is made up of trained communicators whose majors focus on the power of storytelling. Regardless of the medium we use to tell our stories, each concentration of the SOJC is unified by the goal of using communication to persuade, influence and shape culture. It is to be expected that we, a group made of primarily SOJC majors, would come to Ghana fully fitted with camera’s, lighting equipment, iPhones and computers allowing us to document our experience and share it with you.
Our week here has been scheduled to the brim with picturesque moments. We’ve been on the road daily, traveling through Accra’s must-see destinations. If our mostly white complexions didn’t make us stand out already, this eighteen-person camera crew had every local turning their heads from curiosity. Our collective visual coverage of this experience is important. It allows us to share what we see and shape how our friends and family understand Ghana. Pictures invite the world to be part of a moment in time. They help capture and hold stagnate periods of time progressing rapidly past us.
There is something to be said; however, about the balance of living behind a camera screen and living in the moment. Because taking a good picture is a skill and an art, it should take focus. Throughout this week, I’ve wondered how taking pictures takes away from my ability to present. When I talked to previous participants of this trip, many claimed their whole experience feels a bit like a dream. After being in Ghana for almost a week, I can see how easily it all starts to feel unreal. This serves as even more motivation for me to try to stay present in as many moments as possible. For some people, that might mean savoring every moment with a photograph. I’m here to experience Ghana. I would love to share whatever stories come about from my experience but if I’m too focused on capturing any one moment, I feel as I might miss another.