It was a decision that proved surprisingly close to home when I traveled abroad to Salvador, Brazil as part of DePauw’s Public Health, Human Rights, and Race program. Outside of Africa, Salvador has the highest population of African descendants, many of whom happen to share my unique West African heritage as well as my specific ties to the Yoruba ethnic group of Nigeria.
My experience in Salvador was incredible. When I began reaching out in the city, I was welcomed and celebrated as a long-lost sister and representative of our African homeland. It was surreal walking down the street and seeing men and women who bore uncanny similarities to my aunts and uncles in Nigeria.
At DePauw, we emphasize the importance of connecting with others. Studying abroad in Brazil iterated to me how beautiful and important those connections are. If I hadn't allowed myself to get out of my comfort zone and travel to another country, I would have missed out on this important part of my heritage.