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Never say no to field work

I took me a while to convince my parents about spending 6 weeks in Africa this summer. I didn’t know I would need to do it again when I got to do some field works with my co-worker. Just the idea of leaving the Media in Ghana group and Accra makes them paranoid. “What if you got kidnapped? How can I find you? I can’t risk my only daughter,” they said. My mom is a drama queen.

But, honestly, I was a bit nervous before leaving Accra for the field works too. My projects here are undercover, the people I would be talking to are not typically “good people.” And as an obvious minority here, the attention I get from people here are extraordinary. So I texted my friend, who has years of real-life journalist experience, for suggestions. They told me, go, of course you want to go. Field work is always fun. “People always want their stories told,” they said, “Just trust your co-worker.”

Now, I have gotten back safely from a few field works. If there was anything I can share with the others, it would be “Never say no to field work.” Because it is the most interesting and action learning experience one could have.

While doing the field work, you get closer to the people who mostly related to your projects, you listen to their stories and observe their lives; more importantly, you get to ask them your own questions instead of being fed by what your co-workers have done, it is the first hand information.

For example, the two football games I had attended so far have given me totally different views of Ghanian people and football fans. They are passionate, hilarious, and even crazy. I would not believe if I did not see it myself, fans would be throwing money to the players after they win the game. And the football stadium is the place I see the most foreigners besides Aya Center. They yell, they cheer. They are the same.

We all choose to come to Ghana because we want to expose ourselves to learn more about the Ghanian people and culture. Thus, when your chance comes, never say no to it.