Josanna Lewin

Josanna Lewin (Vital Voices - Business Women’s Network hub, the Eagle Women Empowerment Club (EWEC)). Born and raised in Hawaii, Josanna studied in Costa Rica for 6 months with the American Field Service (AFS) in 1998. She received her BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2004. Upon graduation, Josanna spent a year working as an English teacher at the Universidad Central de Ecuador in Quito, Ecuador, and in Italy. Josanna spent three years working in San Francisco in the business development field. She is fluent in Spanish and has worked as a Sexual Health Educator with the Marin Aids Project (MAP) for at risk Latino youth. At the time of her fellowship, Josanna was pursing her Master’s in Public Administration AT the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). After her fellowship, Josanna wrote: “It has been a summer of learning, sharing and laughing with some incredible women. They are beautiful women and it is these women, these mothers, these sisters, these leaders, who are the future of Africa. This was a truly incredible summer and I’ve had such a positive experience. I’ve fallen in love with Ghana!"

The Arrival

11 Jun

Accra welcomed me with some very thick, warm air on Sunday afternoon, May 31st.  While I had been mentally prepared for the heat, my body still experienced a minor panic as my hub Manager, Bridget, met me at Kotoka International Airport and led me out to her car.  Within minutes I could feel the sweat on my forehead and upper lip collecting.   Exhausted and confused about exactly what time it was for me, I was thankful to be taken under Bridget’s wing that evening.  She fed me a delicious home cooked Ghanaian meal and delivered me to my hotel.  I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

My first day of work began bright and early the following morning at 6:30am.  Accra is notoriously horrendous for its traffic, so morning commute starts early.  Traveling a mere few miles can take well over an hour during the heart of traffic hour.  I was lucky enough to commute with Bridget during my first week of work and I accompanied her to the EWEC office on my first morning in Accra.

EWEC’s office is set along the eastern side of Accra in a fairly quiet neighborhood called Labadi.  Upon initial inspection, the neighborhood appears a bit sparse, with large open spaces connected primarily by dirt roads.  A closer look, however, reveals a great deal of growth and development taking place in the neighborhood.  I would not be surprised to find the area bustling in just a few years.   As I sit here and type this, actually, I hear numerous hammers pounding away in the near distance.   In general, I’ve noticed a great deal of development taking place throughout Accra and it is great to see the economic growth the city is experiencing.

Founded in 2008, EWEC is a young organization with a full time staff of 5 people.   Currently sharing the two story office space of Eagle Productions Limited (staff of 24) until sufficient resources are available for their own office, the work environment is busy, committed and friendly.   I’ve noticed an eagerness from everyone on the EWEC staff to learn from the knowledge I have to offer and I’m excited to share some of my experiences with them.  I’ve also realized that I have a great deal to learn about business in Ghana!

Over all, my first week has been exhausting, fascinating, confusing and wonderful.  I’ve received such a warm welcome from Ghana, my new co-workers, and in particular, EWEC’s hub manager, Bridget.  It has been a great first week and I’ll be updating often as I dive into work with EWEC.

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Bridget, EWEC's hub manager, shares lunch with me

EWEC/Eagle Productions Limited Office

EWEC staff member, Mercy, poses for a picture.

Posted By Josanna Lewin

Posted Jun 11th, 2010

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