Friday, November 18, 2011

Excitement grows as GLOBASE Ghana story unfolds

A photo from the 2011 trip captures the team's excitement about the upcoming trip

Guest post by Liesel Mertes,
Second Year MBA
As a little girl, I loved to go on camping trips with my family.  I still recall the joy of preparation.  Bags of marshmallows were packed lovingly beside the hot dog buns.  Piles of tent stakes and flashlights would portend the good things to come.  And, as I carried my sleeping bag out to our old station wagon, I could almost smell the campfire and taste the hot chocolate.
Right now, the leadership team is in the midst of a similar preparation stage as we pack and plan for our coming adventure in Accra, Ghana.  Over the last two weeks, we have received a number of fascinating project proposals from our potential partners in Accra.  The words on the application represent unfolding stories.  There is a request for a cement block project that will benefit a children’s home outside of Accra.  As I read through the details, I can envision the building and almost hear the sounds of the nearby children.  Then there is the inventory project submitted from a husband and wife team.  Their stocked storeroom looms large in my mind, filled with bags of sugar and boxes of tea.  These applications represent the relationships that will be forged from the work of our student teams.
Another major part of our recent preparation has taken place at 7 AM on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings in a second-story classroom.  Our faculty sponsors have been leading us through the Leadership Challenge, developed by Kouzes and Posner.  We sip coffee and munch on bagels while discussing the vision and values of GLOBASE Ghana.  What, exactly, do we hope participants will take away from this trip?  What lasting impact do we aim to have on our Ghanaian partners?  What do we, as GLOBASE Ghana, want to be known for?  As we draw on marker boards and map our progress, some great discussions have been stimulated.  As a leadership team, we have been forced to purposefully choose what we want to communicate through all aspects of the course and journey.    
Much like those camping trips of years ago, the preparation process for GLOBASE Ghana heightens the excitement for what is to come.  This anticipation will only increase as the first-year participants begin to play a more active role in the project.  A few weeks ago, we had a pitch-in barbeque at Rebecca’s house.  There are so many interesting, dynamic men and women that are a part of this project.  We are all looking forward to March. 

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