Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

Packing and Puncturing: Getting Ready for Ghana

Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:08 am
AKWAABA! (Welcome) I’m Kristen.
My summer internship is through Nourish International, a non-profit organization that allows college entrepreneurs to support international organizations through service and fundraising specific projects. My role as Project Leader entails preparing trip logistics, motivating, and communicating with volunteers. I also will report progress on our project to Nourish International through blog posting and administering evaluation measures on site while completing our particular service project. So far our team has been preparing, packing, and being punctured with vaccines but we are so anxious to get to Ghana!
The Wake Forest University Chapter of Nourish is partnering with an organization titled A Ban Against Neglect (ABAN) located in Aburi, Ghana. ABAN is a non-governmental organization that recycles used water packages into merchandise. The products, such as handbags and other accessories, are created by local seamstresses and tailors from the Aburi community. Funds from these sales are delegated to a two-year holistic healing program for marginalized young women in Ghana. Recently, ABAN has purchased six acres of land in nearby Dumpong village to construct a new residential compound and facilities. My team and I have been given the honor to be the first to develop the land into garden plots and building a guest summer hut.
My expectations for this summer include discovering the many aspects of the structure and logistics non-profit organizations. I have a huge heart for service and want to continue participating with social enterprises however this is my first experience as an intern. I expect to gain cultural competency and completely immerse myself into a local lifestyle. Working and living in a developing country will be challenging so I am sure I will have to tap into my inner entrepreneur and leverage resources in new ways (I will have to take “Air Conditioning” out of my vocabulary). I also expect my work to be fulfilling. Lastly and most significantly, I cannot wait to establish meaningful relationships with the staff, the Ghanaian women, and their children. They are the key to my experience abroad and will make me feel at home even when I am thousands of miles across the Atlantic.
I EXPECT TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE. Whenever my mind starts to drift and wander about the beautiful beaches, exotic food, and tropical trees, I quickly remind myself this may be paradise but it is not a vacation. I believe that paradise begins where your comfort zoneends so I use quick little reminders such as “You will be sweaty and working outside” when my mind wants to relax on a beach chair in Accra. I want to learn to be more flexible in any situation chaotic or carefree. In the realm of social enterprise, I want learn how to manage people and plan a schedule more effectively. I want hone my team-working and leadership skills and really engage my co-workers. Specifically, I want to learn how to make the signature ABAN products that drive the organization’s mission.( I do realize that learning how to sew will be helpful before I look towards the entire manufacturing process.) In addition to basic domestic skills, I am willing to immerse myself like a sponge and soak up everything under the Ghanaian sun.
What anxiety do you feel before taking on a large task?
How do you bring yourself back to reality when you are overwhelmed or super excited?


Packing took double the time. Although I will embrace discomfort I still want to be bug-free!

Punctures: I went into the clinic expecting to get one required vaccine: Yellow Fever. I left the office with four vaccine shots and two very sore arms!

Punctures: I went into the clinic expecting to get one required vaccine: Yellow Fever. I left the office with four vaccine shots and two very sore arms!

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