Hey! I’m Mackenzie!

Hi! My name is Mackenzie Hiner, I am from Orlando, and I am currently a freshman at Florida State University double majoring in Psychology and Social Work. Over the summer, I will be flying to the Central Region of Kosoa in Ghana for 36 days from June 6th to July 11th. I will be volunteering with the organization Patriots Ghana as a teacher five days a week at a local Elementary school, teaching both English and Science. I will be apart of their SeedsForScience on Wheels Program as well as their Women in STEM program, encouraging a career in STEM and a pursuance of higher education in younger women living in Ghana. After school, I’ll be helping children with special needs and any tutoring programs that occur after school for those who want extra help in their studies!

I am expecting to be very far out of my comfort zone. I’ll be living with a host family who have kids of their own, and I expect a little bit of awkwardness on that front. I am expecting some sickness to occur, either from the water or from the food because many have told me that it will happen!! I am expecting to learn a lot during the training and orientation week about how to teach schoolchildren and how to communicate effectively and respectively. I am expecting to learn as much as possible of the local language, Twi and I am expecting to make some friends!! I am a bit unsure on how I will be able to form friendships, especially since I learned there aren’t many other volunteers at this location currently. The father in the host family I’m staying with is reportedly a bit controlling, so I also worry about that and what it will be like living with strangers from 5 weeks.

My current feelings as a meme: Sad that school is almost over + a little scared for my experience/being completely alone in a foreign country!

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