Well, my year is complete! As a visiting graduate research fellow at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, I was named this year’s Best International Student Athlete at the University of Ghana. Soon after arriving in Ghana, I joined the University Swim Team with the initial hope of staying healthy over the duration of my one-year fellowship. With this intent, I competed at the National Open Championships in Kumasi, at the Bi-lateral games in Legon, the Inter-halls competition; as well as in a few other meets held in Accra.
However, training daily with the team has offered much more than merely the chance to stay healthy. Being a member of the swim team has served to broaden my perspective regarding life on campus and has allowed me to make a diverse network of friends, outside my academic discipline. And, perhaps of greatest importance, the swim team has served to ground me over the course of this year allowing me to overcome the challenges associated with fieldwork and research. My overall experience at the University of Ghana would be very different, and conceivably much less enjoyable, without the daily support of the team, the UG sports directorate, and Coach BB. To that end, I give great thanks!