Hypotheses (to be read in a British accent)

Maybe this is the scientist/engineer in me, but I love hypotheses so much. So much, in fact, that I have decided to compile a list of hypotheses that I can test out this summer. This one is from my chapter/group of Engineers Without Borders Exec at McMaster.

  1. Villagers would be more open to change if things were communicated better.
  2. Children in villages are curious and want to interact and play.
  3. I learn to live without constant access to internet and will learn cool games/activities that I will bring to Canada.
  4. I don’t like the food during the first week and will miss food from home.
  5. I get more honest answers from Ghanaians a month into my placement when I know them better.
  6. Culture shock. Big time.
  7. No matter how much preparation I do, our opinions of Ghana changes seriously in the first two days.
  8. There is a sense of segregation (social status distinction) between native Ghanaians and foreigners/us/aid workers.
  9. Mosquitos are everywhere.
  10. I use mosquito nets every night.
  11. Every family grows cacao in Ghana to support a living.
  12. The community will be very welcoming initially but it takes a long time to gain trust.
  13. I am hit on at least three times a week (can be by the same guy).
  14. I feel powerless/frustrated/hopeless towards situations I encounter.
  15. I return with a completely new perspective.
  16. I hopelessly embarrass myself once a week.
  17. I play soccer at one point.
  18. Everywhere I go, I experience white privilege.
  19. The weather is exotic.
  20. I return tanned. More specifically, I will come back with a farmer’s tan.
  21. I average two showers a week.
  22. I find myself craving gross American food that I never even liked (eg. Kraft Dinner, Twinkies).
  23. Homophobia is the norm.
  24. Not every community has public services.
  25. In very remote communities, farmers mostly consume their harvests instead of selling a portion as there is no market.
  26. Ghanaians can and like to hold things on their heads.Women can hold heavy items that weigh >30kg on their heads.
  27. It is difficult to access health clinics when you get sick.

I am so excited to test all of these out!

YOU, reader, please comment and add a hypothesis to the list!


4 responses to “Hypotheses (to be read in a British accent)

  1. Love this list Naomi! Looking forward to seeing your mid-term and final reflection on how these turn out!

    Great way to start off thinking about your placement too – likely to be lots more hypothesis generation and testing in your placement as well!

  2. Love the plethora of hypotheses! Numbers 13 and 21 interest me, I would hypothesize much higher numbers of each (let me know!). Any hypotheses about language/integration/friends etc.? Where will you find your friends? What/who will be your comfort zones?
    PS Wondering if you got ahold of the Dagbani resources I’ve been circulating? A few dictionaries and resources to complement what may be a bewildering immersion experience depending on where you are. Let me know and you can download them while you’re still in Canada!

    • thanks for taking the time to read and reply, Janine! I really appreciate it. I can take no credit for any of these, as my chapter exec generated the list, but I agree that I will likely shower more often than twice a week.

      I haven’t formulated a ton of my own hypotheses yet, but my coach Ben Best loves hypothesis testing so I will be doing lots of it soon! As of right now, I am expecting to integrate pretty well, but maybe I am just being too hopeful. I think I will have two or three close friends, and perhaps a lot of we-are-polite-to-each-other-but-separated-by-huge-cultural-barriers friends. And comfort zones. Hmm. I will have to think more about that one.

      I think I heard you had made those resources! I have not searched recently for them, but I would love to download it soon. Thanks for putting that together!

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