Athens Eats: Our Halloween Favorites

Happy Halloween! While most have already celebrated, we can’t ignore the candy-filled holiday in spite of its Monday status. Everyone in the killer My Athens editorial staff has shared their favorite Halloween treats, and why, below. Come get to know us here, and be safe this Halloween!

Rachel Bailey, Executive Director:

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“Reese’s Sticks are the TRUF for many reasons, first among them being they are the second coming of Nutty Bars. Reese’s has perfected the chocolate-wafer-peanut butter ratio, so biting into one is met first with a little give as the wafer sinks into the PB; then a satisfying crack as it crunches. That’s why any Reese’s Sticks pro knows King Size is the ONLY way to go.”

Nina Guzman, Managing Editor: 

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“While the term ‘choco-holic’ doesn’t make much grammatical sense, that is ABSOLUTELY what I am. When it comes to Halloween candy I can’t choose between one chocolate treat. 3 Musketers, M&Ms, Milky Way, Twixt. I love them all! I will trade any Nerds or juice flavored candy for chocolate. However the second you add nuts or peanut butter to chocolate, I’m out.”

Kayla Renie, Director of Photography:

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“Hello there! M&M’s are my favorite candy because I love chocolate, and they just go great with everything: cookies, ice cream, and my personal favorite, popcorn. They also remind me of my mom because they are her favorite candy as well, and my sister Emily because when she was little we liked to call her Em&Em. I don’t think the colors make a difference, but nevertheless the blue ones are my favorite.”

Shayon Keating, Social Media Coordinator: 

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“Well, hey there! My favorite candy bar is Snickers because you aren’t you when you’re hungry (or trying to hit all the houses in your neighborhood for a pillowcase full of candy).”

Eva Claire Schwartz, Arts Editor:

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Hi gang! I take candy very seriously. While I never feel I need an excuse to eat chocolate (and you shouldn’t either!), Symphony bars are my favorite. What’s a Symphony bar, you ask? Glad to take one for the team and answer. It’s a milk chocolate bar with toffee and almonds. Heavenly doesn’t even begin to cover it. I resonate with this chocolate bar; it’s discerning. Not a lot of retailers have them, so it takes the dedicated chocolate connoisseur to track one down. My grandmother used to keep them in her cabinet just for me. They usually come in a very large size, making them perfect to share or to snack on for a while. 10/10 eating experience. I almost had a square with my breakfast.”

Aspen Fairchild, Fashion Editor:

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“My favorite candy is 100 Grand because I know that that $1 candy bar is the closest thing I will ever get to actually holding $100,000. Eat chocolate and feel rich at the same time, what more could anyone want?”

Sam Stephens, Food Editor: 

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Well, we’ve come back around to me! I can honestly say that there was nothing I loved more as a kid than a candy that both tasted delicious and complimented me! Why, thank you, Mr. Smarties! I AM a smarty– at least until I licked the powder out of the wrapper to collect as much remaining Smarties dust as I possibly could.

Athens Style: Tips and Tricks for Halloween

Words by Emily Llamazales. Photos by Ben Rouse and Jason Clark.

The spookiest month of all is in full swing and we are almost at the pinnacle event. If you are still soul searching for the perfect costume and looking aimlessly at the racks of one of those pop-up shops, here’s the best advice from someone who knows how to costume.

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Jacqueline Daniels. Photo by Ben Rouse.

Rob Hagwood is a core member of Boybutante AIDS Foundation, Inc., an organization that works to raise money for AIDS Athens and other local charities. Their biggest events are the dazzling drag shows and most recently a size inclusive fashion show, La Vie en Rose. Rob has been doing drag since he was nineteen and he can surely lend a generous amount of advice for costuming tips and tricks.

First off is the idea. If you just can’t choose one alter ego, or you have so many characters close to your heart, why not try starting with your preexisting closet. Often times Rob generates an idea for an outfit just from an outstanding pair of shoes. Knowing your favorite pair of flashy earrings or having a great piece of fabric can spark that initial idea for a wonderful costume. For drag shows it is super important to have a killer walk out song that really captivates and connects with the audience to draw them into the performance. Rob says that knowing a perfect song to walk out to can really drive the whole outfit. Going off the emotions and lyrics of a song can provide great inspiration. If you are gearing up for a themed costume party, then really be committed to it. Boybutante’s biggest show last year was their 20,000 Legs Under the Sea drag search. For this show, Rob developed a dazzling mermaid costume in royal blue, complete with a long tail. The more commitment you have to your ideal costume, the more rewarding it will feel as you debut it at the party. Costuming is a show, there’s got to be great hair, eye catching makeup, and maybe some sparkling attire. You’re not always passing as something or someone real, so it’s all about being entertaining.

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Photo by Jason Clark.

Rob makes all of his own outfits and typically spends about two days completing the costume. Sewing is a wonderful creative outlet for him when he gets in the groove of things coming together. But if you are not well-versed on a sewing machine, its probably best to hit up that thrift store. He recommends striving to make the outfit as comfortable as it can be, and to opt for scratch fabrics that can move with you. However, as you piece together this outfit, especially if by needle and thread, don’t be afraid if your hands cannot accomplish all that your head envisioned.

It’s best to keep in mind what works for your own style. When Rob is in drag, he’s known as Jacqueline Daniels, but you can call her Jack Daniels. She’s loud and flashy, loves a good corset, and always has big hair and a lot of leg to show. She stays true to her style and, most of all, her makeup. You can check out thousands of tutorials for just about any look or character on YouTube. Rob learned much as a child from watching his mom put on her makeup and later turned to tutorials online and tips from his drag momma. The more you practice applying makeup, the better it will look for Halloween night.

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Photo by Ben Rouse.

If there is only one thing that you’re itching to spend money on for your costume, look into a wig. This can take your look to the next level and really pull everything together, making you really recognizable and eye catching. Rob has about 25 wigs that he’s collected over the years. Try to get your hands on one that is styled according to your look. Definitely check out sites online, or maybe turn to that local pop up costume shop.

Boybutante AIDS Foundation, Inc. has been partying for a cause for 27 years and raising thousands of dollars along the way. Rob hopes that one day they will just be partying and the cause alleviated. But until then, you can check out Boybutante’s many charity events throughout the year by following them on Instagram and Facebook.

Serra Jaggar’s Indie South

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Words and photos by Eva Claire Schwartz

Sitting snuggly along Prince Avenue, in a light, exposed brick space, sits the sunny new Indie South storefront. Its interior, upon stepping inside, boasts exposed brick walls and a collection of handmade fares that would make anyone’s wallet beg to become lighter. A woman dressed in a Bohemian top and cuffed bracelets scrolls through a playlist until she settles on the perfect artist for such a space: Cat Stevens.

Having opened in August of this year, patrons will probably know the space as the old Double Dutch Press headquarters. Now its racks and shelves are filled with crafted goods, from vintage clothes to terrariums and wallhangings.

Owner and founder of the Indie Craft Fair, Serra Jaggar, had been on the hunt for a space for the past two and a half years. The Fair has grown substantially in its years since the fledgling market started in 2006, but a storefront seemed like the next step to Jagger.

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“Working out of home was difficult to separate work and life,” explains Jaggar. “It fell into my lap. I knew it was serendipitous.”

Jaggar is no stranger to turning a craft into an independent business. Starting with a jewelry and handbag line, she had a boutique in 2002 when the handmade movement was still in a stage of infancy. But after a child and a separation, she needed consistency job-wise and ultimately closed up shop.

After being a part of multiple craft shows, the Indie South Fair seemed like an obvious next phase, especially since Jaggar admits she always liked uniting people.

The craft fair grew organically, sprouting on its own as she continued to get positive feedback and took note of patrons from bigger cities.

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Now the fair travels all over the southeast, hitting crafting hubs such as Nashville, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina. There are still six markets a year in Athens, including the Eclectic Bazaar and Holiday Hooray (coming up December 3rd and 4th).

But it’s not just the fair that’s rewarding to Jaggar, who also started the Strange Magick Vintage line, which can be found here. She describes the most rewarding aspect of her job is watching people grow their businesses. Some vendors start out with the mindset of “my friend or my mom likes it, but I don’t know if anyone else will” and then their line resonates with others and it takes off, she explains.

“A lot of designers refine their craft and hone their skill through Indie South,” says Jagger.

While the Indie South Fair store has something for everyone, its main clientele would be an individual who isn’t focused on buying the latest thing. Rather the conscious shopper, one who is willing to invest, will find their wares here.

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When asked about goals for this space, Jagger responses quickly.

“The goal is to create a place where the community feels they have a stake in it,” explains Jagger. “I am responsive to what Normaltown wants.”

The store is already in the works of starting handmade classes in order to build personal connections within the community. With the onslaught of social media, Jagger wants the store to connect with and introduce people to the things they wouldn’t otherwise see. She wants people to experience something in this space and leave feeling inspired, maybe even enough to pick up a natural dye or weaving kit and try something new.

“Art is not something on a white wall,” says Jagger. “Art is something human that we’ve been doing since the beginning of time.”

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In hopes to get people in touch with their creativity, the Indie South Fair store hopes to offer a range of classes including sewing, indigo dyeing, weaving, and knitting.

Jaggar also hopes that the Indie South Fair validates the creatives living in Athens. She admits that a big motivation for starting the fair was giving validity to the “creative people doing creative things,” not just the Athens music scene. Even most musicians are also painters, creatives and makers who deserve recognition for their artistic maker side too.

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While the next outdoor fair will be held December 3rd and 4th at 660 N. Chase St., Jaggar insists the storefront has helped spread awareness of the Indie South Fair. While she insists that the brick and mortar aspect of the store has made it more real to some, Jaggar has made a space that is undoutedbly a welcoming part of the Normaltown neighborhood.

“It’s all about trying to get people engaged,” she says. “I always liked to bring people together.”

To check out the Indie South Fair, take a look at their website and their Instagram.

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Athens Eat: Meet the Dogs of The Farmers Market!

Photos by Kayla Renie.

We love the friendly atmosphere the Athens Farmers Market provides; all are welcome, including pups! This week, Kayla wanted to get to know the dogs that frequent the Athens Farmers Market! This meant finding their favorite activities and foods. (Their humans provided the info. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet found talking dogs yet.)

Hello, my name is Bucky and I am one year old. Some of my favorite things include smelling monkey grass and meeting new people. My favorite food is the mashed potatoes and meat I had for my birthday this past July. I wish I could eat it every day!
Hello, my name is Bucky and I am one year old. Some of my favorite things include smelling monkey grass and meeting new people. My favorite food is the mashed potatoes and meat I had for my birthday this past July. I wish I could eat it every day!

 

My name is Penny, and I am five years old. I love sleeping and being around people. My favorite thing to eat is coconut oil; I eat it by the spoonful! My human likes to put coconut oil on as lotion, and I lick it off her.
My name is Penny, and I am five years old. I love sleeping and being around people. My favorite thing to eat is coconut oil; I eat it by the spoonful! My human likes to put coconut oil on as lotion, and I lick it off her.

 

I'm Willie Mae, but you can call me Willie for short. I am five years old.
I’m Willie Mae, but you can call me Willie for short. I am five years old.
 I love squirrels and sleeping in patches of sunlight. My favorite thing to eat is eggs, sunny-side-up -- the yolks first, of course.
I love squirrels and sleeping in patches of sunlight. My favorite thing to eat is eggs, sunny-side-up — the yolks first, of course.

 

I'm Belle, and I am four years old.
I’m Belle, and I am four years old.
I love rolling around in the grass of Herty Field and taking well-deserved naps. My favorite thing to eat is frozen broccoli!
I love rolling around in the grass of Herty Field and taking well-deserved naps. My favorite thing to eat is frozen broccoli!

 

Hey! I'm Frankie, and I am three months old.
Hey! I’m Frankie, and I am three months old.
I love bones, socks, and going on adventures in the woods. Apples are my favorite thing to eat!
I love bones, socks, and going on adventures in the woods. Apples are my favorite thing to eat!

 

We're Tudy and Brewster.
We’re Tudy and Brewster.
We are five years old and four months old, respectively.
We are five years old and four months old, respectively.
Some of our favorite things include our elephant stuffed animal, running, and sleeping. Our favorite things to eat are table scraps.
Some of our favorite things include our elephant stuffed animal, running, and sleeping. Our favorite things to eat are table scraps.

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Hello! My name is Indie, and I am five and a half months old.
Hello! My name is Indie, and I am five and a half months old.
My favorite things to do are run and meet other dogs. My favorite things to eat are my human’s books!
My favorite things to do are run and meet other dogs. My favorite things to eat are my human’s books!

Athens Style: The Vintage Consumer

Words and Photos by Maddie Newton.

Dwelling in Athens it’s not uncommon to know someone who straight up adores secondhand shopping. There’s a lot of us thrift-store fiends who capitalize on the killer vintage market here. It’s kind of hard not to. In fact, there’s a lot to be said about the Athenian vintage consumer.

Vintage queen, Sam Meacham

I sat down with Sam Meacham, the Vintage Queen (unofficial-official name), to talk about these vintage consumers. Sam Meacham is a die-hard vintage lover and grad student at the University of Georgia. She’s writing her thesis on the analysis of the vintage consumer and works part-time as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Fashion Merchandising department. If you’re a FACS major, you’ve likely run into her and probably haven’t forgotten about it. Her personal style is totally memorable as it is full of sass, sophistication and 50’s charm. Sam’s daily digs are likely found from local pre-owned retailers like Atomic, Dynamite and The Pope on Prince. After being in Athens for two solid years, she’s established herself as a vintage fashion icon and is a perfect example of what it looks like to be a secondhand consumer.

Sam is passionately curious about the vintage consumer. Taking advantage of the local vintage scene, she took to the streets and interviewed people coming in and out of preowned apparel stores. Setting out to find answers to questions like, “Why do vintage consumers behave the way they do?” and “How are they different from the average consumer?” have led to some pretty neat discoveries.

Sam has interpreted that overall, consumers shop following a “linear model.”  She explained that generally people buy an item, own it for a period of time and then discard it either by disposal or donation to places like Goodwill. According to Sam, this process has gotten shorter and shorter because of the ever-growing “Fast Fashion” movement many stores have adopted. This movement is diminishing the quality of merchandise and speeding up the duration of time an article of clothing spends in one’s closet. Therefore, expediting clothing into landfills. Although some vintage consumers are environmentally conscious and know the positive affects of shopping vintage, many of them aren’t necessarily influenced by the sustainable benefits that accompany it.

From Sam’s personal collection

Unfortunately, Sam has found that customers disapprove of specialty thrift store prices. Unexperienced vintage consumers complain that their rates are too high for what they’re getting in return. She commented that “specialty stores are a curated space” and the price includes compensation for the person who took the time to locate the items, potentially fixed damages and brought them to the store to be sold. Sam made the point that, “instead of having consumers rummage in and out of thrift stores looking for the perfect item, specialty stores have already done it for you.”

Sam noticed that the knowledgeable vintage consumer view heftier price tags as an investment. The vintage buyer is aware that these garments will stand the test of time if the proper care is taken. These shoppers aren’t turned off by more strenuous clothing care and they’re more likely to handle their garments more cautiously than other consumers. Neither small stains nor hand-washing will deter them from buying a piece of clothing. Vintage lovers are accepting of flaws and write them off as added character.

Sam has concluded that, typically, vintage buyers are not concerned with following trends. Alternatively, they purchase garments because of the garment’s emotional appeal or similarity with the rest of their repertoire. They realize that shopping vintage is “an easy way to be unique.” This type of consumer buys clothing that fits their personal aesthetic and style, rather than what’s currently all-the-rage.

In addition to studying and consuming vintage, Sam is in the process of constructing her own online vintage shop on Etsy. She is a self-taught seamstress and repairs her fab finds that need a little TLC.

Follow Sam on Instagram to check out more of her amazing style and when her Etsy shop will launch!

Athens Eats: The Art of Pouring

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**Editors Note**: The editor’s team decided to rerun this piece in celebration of the Shakedown: Coffee Cocktail Competition. Taking place Thursday, October 20th, the Old Pal will play host to a cocktail competition that will feature 1000 Faces cold brew in cocktails. The competition will feature barkeeps from Athens’ favorites such as Hi-Lo, The World Famous, and The Old Pal. 

Words by Eva Claire Schwartz. Photos by Taylor Canerday.

In a world where Starbucks is consistently getting the spelling of our names wrong, it’s gratifying to be handed a mug of coffee and shown we matter.

Specialty coffee shops around the country are allowing people to make connections with their baristas and look down at the mouth of their mugs to see a work of art: latte art. Recently, latte art has gained a whole new level of momentum. With coffee brewing quality at the highest level it has ever been, baristas are able to focus primarily on the value and the experience.

Mike Young, a coffee manager for Two Story Coffee, is no stranger to this mindset. After starting work in April 2014, Mike learned tips and tricks from older baristas around the bar to pick up free pouring, a form of latte art in which the design is made in the process of filling up the mug with your drink.

Don’t get us wrong, taste is the most important part, but the art makes the experience special.

“Honoring the coffee by brewing it in a way it shines is most important,” says Young. “Art is the cherry on top.”

Let’s talk mechanics of pouring here. Milk is steamed so that the lipids separate (whole milk is best). Then the barista, when pouring, is basically folding the resulting microfoam into the espresso crema (those tiny brown bubbles you see on top of an espresso shot). Now, both the crema and the microfoam want to battle it out to rise to the top. When pouring, the barista is actually tricking the crema into sharing some of that top space with the microfoam. When the barista physically pours, envision he is pushing the microfoam, which pushes the crema into different patterns.

When folding the crema and microfoam, you start with a dot in the very center. From here, the barista can pull through at the end and make a heart. If wanted, they can make either a tulip or a rosetta design out of this heart.

While these frequently top the mugs you’ve probably received in the past, latte art has come a long way from it’s onset of popularity in 1980s Seattle. Now, baristas get together from all over the globe to compete in throwdowns, competitions where the most creative and most consistent barista wins.

Ben Helfen, of Counter Culture, is no stranger to throwdowns. Having won the Millrock Latte Art competition in 2008 and proceeding to compete at all levels, Helfen felt invigorated to give those involved in the local coffee community a chance to get together. Along with M’lissa Muckerman they created the first reoccurring throwdown event in a particular city: Atlanta, Georgia. “Thursday Night Throwdown” is a tradition that is still going strong since 2008, popping up all over the country and even other parts of the world.
Having worked in numerous specialty shops over the years, Helfen has noticed that coffee sales, even during the recession, never dropped.

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“Because people drink coffee no matter what,” Helfen explains, “people are willing to splurge on it even when times are tough.”

Helfen also remarks on the significance of good service in specialty shops. If you’ve had a good experience, your brain is already in the mindset that you’re about to encounter something really special – that you’re going to enjoy this time and sit down for a moment or two.

“The best thing is when I give someone their drink and I turn my back and hear them remark on their latte art,” says Young. “It’s just awesome. There aren’t a lot of jobs like that.”

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Athens Eats: A Farmers Market Friend Date

Words by Jose Peña. Photos by Emily Llamazales.

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The Athens Farmers Market allows the community to enjoy all of the rad local vendors selling their fresh produce, intricate art pieces and the most delectable pastries that just melt in your mouth! Whether you’re in the mood for an early day with crisp, cool breezes on Saturday mornings or late afternoon strolls on Wednesdays right by Creature Comforts, the farmer’s market is best to rendezvous when accompanied with someone special: whether friends, family, pets, significant others, co-workers, anyone!

For those of you who are early risers, visiting the farmer’s market at Bishop Park is perfect for you. The best part about it is that the options are endless for you and a friend to share a memorable date together. Enjoy sipping on nectar from the gods, a.k.a. 1000 Faces coffee, and enjoying Sanvi’s Sweet and Savories pastries that bring tears to your eyes from their indulging aroma.

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If you aren’t intrigued yet, just wait. Not only can you grab some breakfast with your special person, you can also surprise them with beautiful locally grown flowers from 3 Porch Farm. Distract them with the salivating jams or eccentric pottery and art vendors and sneak over to the plethora of colors scattered across the flower booth. From purples, yellows, red and blues, you are sure to find the perfect bundle for that perfect friend and maybe suck on one of their famous Honeypops while doing so—not to mention that the vendors are incredibly welcoming and willing to help!

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If you and your posse aren’t particularly big fans of early mornings, don’t fret. From 4-7 p.m. on Wednesdays, you can still get the farmer’s market experience that is best suited for you. After a long day of class or work, hit the vendors up in downtown Athens right in the Creature Comforts courtyard and enjoy the live music and delicious craft beer. Taking a browse of the different brews offered by Creature Comforts is fun and very insightful.

Whether you’re wanting to get an early start on your day or relax mid-afternoon with a cold one, grab some friends and take them to Athens Farmers Market. The commitment within the market to support local businesses emanates a strong sense of community you wouldn’t get from shopping at a large chain. It’s fun, a great experience for friends and family, and most importantly—doesn’t break the bank!

 

For more info about the Athens Farmers Market visit athensfarmersmarket.net

 

Athens Style: Ghana Community Trade Program

Words by Kathleen Knowles. Photos provided in part by UGA and Caroline Wise.

Imagine a trip where you get to make jewelry from smashed glass bottles, buy handmade fabric in a bustling marketplace to create your own clothing, travel to new places every day, and all while earning class credit. Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong. This trip exists and it’s available to students through the University of Georgia’s Interdisciplinary Ghana Study Abroad program housed in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS).

Students from the 2016 Interdisciplinary Ghana Study Abroad Program in Bonwire, a Kente cloth weaving village

In 2001, with the help of Dr. Patricia Hunt-Hurst, FACS created the Ghana study abroad program for students majoring in textiles, merchandising and interiors (TXMI), or social work. The program is offered during the three-week Maymester period and provides adventurous students the chance to get a true taste of experiences they usually only talk about in class. Social work students spend time learning about issues such as health, education, and urban redevelopment in Ghana through hands-on experiences while TXMI students participate in the Ghana Community Trade Program.

UGA student Gordon Hobbs discussing his designs with the local dressmaker
UGA student Gordon Hobbs discussing his designs with the local dressmaker

Through the Trade Program TXMI students are able to experience each step of the textile manufacturing process. Each participant is required to collaborate with an Athens boutique on designs that the student later brings back to sell in the store. The students sketch designs they believe will be marketable to Athenians then dive directly into the Ghanaian culture by visiting one of the country’s largest markets and purchasing bright, beautiful handmade fabrics from local vendors. In order to understand each part of the production process, students take their fabrics and designs to local dressmakers to be made into wearable garments. The best part? Participants in the program are also able to design clothing for themselves, making the Ghana trip truly one-of-a-kind. After the students meet with the dressmakers, the pieces are finalized and reach the Athens boutiques four weeks later. Items from the Ghana study abroad program are sold at Community, Entourage, and Atomic.

Models Imani and Ishana wearing jewelry and clothing mades by the students
Models Imani and Ishana wearing jewelry and clothing mades by the students

As if we weren’t sold on the program already, students are also able to fully immerse themselves in Ghana’s culture through a countless number of workshops and excursions. During the three-week program students spend a lot of time traveling throughout the African country. This means that class can be held in the back of a charter bus, after a dance class with a local teacher (who was eight months pregnant, no biggie), or even while visiting a slave castle on the coast of Ghana. Students learn how to make beads out of crushed up bottles from one of Ghana’s expert artisans; they visit the Kumasi Orphanage to play with kids and work with non-profits, such as Global Mamas who ensure fair prices for handmade Ghanaian goods; they even try their hands at the local art of weaving Kente cloth, a tedious process of interweaving cloth strips.

UGA student weaving Kente cloth in Bonwire
UGA student weaving Kente cloth in Bonwire

Marcela Guerra, a student on the 2014 program, said her favorite part of the trip was learning about Ghanaian’s textiles and Adinkra symbols, which are stamped onto handmade fabrics. According to Marcela, “The Ghana program is an incredible experience where you are able to learn so much about the Ghanaian culture and lifestyle.”

Nearly every aspect of Ghana’s vibrant culture is jam packed into this three-week adventure. The once-in-a-lifetime experience offered through the Ghana study abroad program leaves all of us with only one question: “Where do we sign up?”

To learn more about UGA’s Interdisciplinary Study Abroad in Ghana and sign up for yourself, visit here.

The following photoshoot features jewelry and clothing made on the interdisciplinary trip that is available for sale in local Athens boutiques. All clothing is sold at Community and all jewelry is sold at Atomic.

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