Interviewee: Adoma Paul Jnr, 18, attended Wamanafo Senior High School. He was an AFS exchange student to India from 4th of July 2016 to 16th May 2017. In this interview, we get the chance to follow his path to India.
Interviewer: Jasmine Hong is a journalism student at the University of Hong Kong. She is currently working at AFS Ghana as a communications intern.
J = Jasmine, P = Paul
J: How did you encounter AFS in your life?
P: I knew AFS since childhood. My parents have hosted 17 students in total. So I don’t just know AFS, but I am part of it. It was to my amusement to heard that I was the first exchange student to be in India. In this case I felt like having a great task to accomplished.
J: How did you persuade your parents at the beginning of the program?
P: My parents were supportive. They wanted their boy to have the best experience in life and withstand the culture shock. They were very exited about my absence and how I could stay without their presence.
J: What’s your first impression of India?
P: When I got out from the airport in New Delhi, seeing the huge crowd made me sober. Everything I saw seemed like a dream to me. It was a challenging moment. I bordered a taxi, for which I was cheated even when someone was there to pick me up. I was totally confused. As India is a country of diversity, I felt all sort of life there. Being it good or bad.
J: What do you like most about India?
P: I enjoyed their food although it was too spicy. I loved their dresses too, and their caring nature. However, I dislike the densely populated school and work place.
J: What is the #AFSeffect for you?
P: I am adapted to good cultures and values too, such as greeting Namastey and touching the feet of elders. This experience has changed me for life. I learned how to make friends and got confidence to speak in public. I won’t forget my teachers, who treated me as a friend and the moments when I went out with my family and friends.
J: How did you feel at the end of the program?
P: My last days was full of happiness but sorrowful as well. Everyone wanted to take me out for dinner and parties. It was a great time indeed. And I remember my last day with affection and love for my school, family and friends.
J: What would you share with incoming participants?
P: What I regret most was being over-smart. My message for incoming participants is that they shouldn’t look down on the developing countries. They should be the ones to see how rich their culture is.