Why I applied for the Turner Research Travel Grant…

A good friend of mine told me she was going to Ghana this year to visit with the Ashanti people and and experience their storytelling methods of passing information that had been passed down from previous generations. The Turner Research Travel Grant was paying for it. I don’t know why I was so surprised. I had chances to go to Costa Rica when I was an undergrad, and other’s had taken opportunities to go to Ireland. But this Grant was different. The applicants could chose where they wanted to go, and what they wanted to accomplish or study.

Although going to Ghana would have been following in my father’s foot steps, as he went to the country with his wife when I was in elementary school. Yet, I had nothing calling me there. I was being called to one of its neighbors, Liberia.

I have wanted to go ever since the mother of my oldest daughter moved there shortly after our daughter was born in June 1997. I never thought about how I could go there; only that if I was ever going to go to Africa, Liberia would be the country.

Going to Liberia was of the upmost importance on a personal level. I haven’t seen my child other than pictures since she was a new born or her mother besides live video. When I was presented with an idea of how to get there through the travel grant, I had to come up with a legitimate reason for my travel. I started doing research on what learning opportunities I could benefit from while I was there. I ended up choosing to volunteer to be apart of a summer camp run there.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the grant. But it was the article below that encouraged me to think about Liberia as a possible living destination. Reading one woman’s bravery of leaving her home country and finding opportunities for a writer, and that she also was able to take the next step as a writer once she venture out side of her comfort zone. I didn’t quite get there, but maybe the article will do something else for you. Click below and check it out. Also linked is information on the Turner Research Travel Grant. Wayetu Moore also has a new book coming out, I added a link for that too. Enjoy the information.

https://www.wordswithoutborders.org/dispatches/article/the-city-and-the-writerin-monrovia-liberia-with-wayetu-moore

http://www.ubalt.edu/research/turner.cfm

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/22/books/wayetu-moore-she-would-be-king-debut-novel-liberia.html

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