So what’s with all of those weird symbols in my header? Well, they are Adinkra Symbols, which are ubiquitous in Ghana. Our first Pro Junior Fellow (JF) from Vancouver, Carissa, first pointed them out to me on the wrapper of Divine Chocolate bars. Divine is a super cool Fair Trade chocolate company that is 45% owned by cocoa farmers in Ghana.
I selected these symbols based on their meanings. From left to right, these symbols mean:
- NYANSAPO – “wisdom knot” – symbol of wisdom, ingenuity, intelligence and patience
- ESE NE TEKREMA – “the teeth and the tongue” – symbol of friendship and interdependence
- DENKYEM – “crocodile” – symbol of adaptability
- DWENNIMMEN – “ram’s horns” – symbol of humility together with strength
- ANANSE NTONTAN – “spider’s web” – symbol of wisdom, creativity and the complexities of life
- BOA ME NA ME MMOA WO – “help me and let me help you” – symbol of cooperation and interdependence
Some of these symbols reflect aspirations for my placement, and others I hope reflect some of my traits. I’ll leave it to you to guess which are which. 🙂
As I write this, it is only a couple of weeks until I travel to Toronto for final training before heading to northern Ghana from mid August until mid December. Although things are going really well for me right now and my life is very happy and comfortable, I am excited for the peronsal challenges and resulting growth that awaits me in Africa.