I've mentioned some of these in previous posts, but yes, being in Ghana surely has helped me to grow as a leader. While I was there, I spoke in front of large crowds--this includes giving speeches and reciting poetry. Each time I spoke or recited something, I did it a little different to see how people would react to it. I made it a point to often hang around the Ghanaians and not always stay with my Elon peers. Don't get me wrong I spent time with my peers, but part of being in a different place is to get to know the natives there and how they do things.
In addition, I noticed early on during the trip that the Elon group became very clingy to one another and also divided. We had a certain number of blacks and a certain number of whites from Elon and both groups seemed to divide and hang out with each other. The same with the Ghanaian dance company...they would often keep to themselves in the beginning. I was one of the ones who decided to step up and bridge the gap. At lunch, I would see one table full of blacks and another full of whites and I would encourage everyone to combine the tables to make one big long table and before you knew it, after a couple of days my peers began to do this without anyone prompting them.
I learned that leadership is about identifying an issue, and not only that but thinking of solutions and then acting upon them. It only takes one person to step up and speak out, or act for others to be inspired to follow. Just know that I will never be the same after this trip. I am a better person, a more mature person, but most importantly a better leader!