Thoughts on recent travel and teaching at an International Christian Dance Fellowship conference held in the University of Ghana and hosted by the Christian Dance Fellowship branches of Ghana and Ireland. People from 12 different countries outside of Ghana attended and many had made it there quite miraculously, without apparently the financial or other means to get there. Apart from hosting the conference and managing the on-the-ground registrations and teaching and meeting rooms, technological needs, etcetera etcetera, a number of Ghanaians were also simply able to attend the conference.
Inadequate to describe in English words, but here are some: family-feeling, old and new friends from around the world, friendly, happy, relaxed, laughter, new friends, new connections with other writers and academics from various countries, many last minute changes and unexpected challenges and delights, working hard, seeing some of the city of Accra and some of the countryside, a slave castle (so much pain), the amazing experience of being in Africa. Some of the challenges involved uncertainties of electricity supply and internet access and the usual technological compatibility issues, while some of the delights included meeting and interacting with new people, finding food at markets, eating and experiencing new things, seeing amazing dance works and being invited to be part of some of them.
Moving and Inspiring
It was moving and inspiring to see and experience how the Ghanaian people have found ways to move forward after the devastations of slavery, cultural impositions of western imperialism, and all the fall-out of so many difficult past events; a Ghana that is uniquely Ghanaian.
More Learning than Teaching
More learning than teaching for me – isn’t that often the way when you go somewhere new and interact with new people and different cultures? So good to be around different people, to get other perspectives on life and what matters.
But I was able to sell some of my books both to the University of Ghana and to individuals. As usual, my approach was to be flexible over pricing, so that I was not pricing out the people whose currencies do not match favourably with $US. I see this attitude as consistent with the philosophical approach I take in my writing…and life.