YES Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

 In Ghana

Last week attended the YES Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation in Washington D.C. The 50 YES Abroad students met up with roughly 500 YES exchange students (who spent a year living in the US), for a jam-packed week of excitement, seminars, and lobbying. Now that I once again have my sleep pattern restored to a semi-regular schedule, here's a list of several things I learned throughout the week:

Top 5 Tips/Lessons Learned from the YES Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation:

5. Not only is drinking alcohol forbidden in the Qur'an, but using it as an ingredient in food is also prohibited. This goes against an ancient culinary myth I was brought up believing – that alcoholic content disappears when food has been cooked. This is not true – anywhere from 4 to 85% of the original alcoholic content remains in the food.

4. Creative alternative ways which I plan on using to document my year abroad include:

  • Placing sticky notes daily on a calendar to quickly and efficiently document each day
  • Collecting artifacts (legally)
  • Having a posterboard collage full of postcards on both sides that can be hung in the middle of a room
  • Choreographing  an interpretive dance daily to express my feelings

Special thanks to Aly G. for  these fantastic ideas.

3. Never sing in the shower while in Ghana. This is a popular superstition, and if broken, your mother will supposedly die. This most likely originated in order to keep kids from accidentally swallowing the soap lather.

2. Everyone involved in YES, YES Abroad, and AFS are all amazing people. It's shocking to think we've only known each other for under a week – we meld together and get along so well. I can only imagine how close we'll be during our returning orientation.

1. Never say that you will write in lists of five just because it's a nice sounding number – especially if you can't think of five things to write about.

 

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