Global Programs
May 2017 Field ​Study
Student Blogs

Ghana map and flag
Taylor Wood


Taylor Wood

Aggie Law Class of 2018

Land Use Conflicts and Access to Justice

Meeting with the Senchi Chief
by Taylor Wood


senchiToday we were on the road again. After leaving Kumasi, we headed toward Akuse and Akomsombo in the Volta and Eastern regions. After a few hours, our bus turned onto a red-dirt road. The first things I saw were a little red barn-looking building, a wooden panel house, and a goat tied to a tree. This is where the chief of Senchi, or the Asebu stool, lived. We waited on the bus as Rita (our guide, Dr. Rita Yembilah, Global Programs resource staff member) went to speak with the chief’s right hand man.

As we were waiting, a group of little girls approached the bus and stood by the little red barn, staring at all of us Americans. We waved and they began laughing as they posed for pictures.

Shortly after, we got off the bus and the children became very shy and backed away. I looked at one of the little girls and said “bra” and did what I call a baby-wave. This is what I had learned during the trip meant, “come here.” To my surprise it worked, and the little girl timidly approached me. Her friends soon followed and we all began high fiving the little girls.

Children At Barn

Next, we made our way to the chief’s porch. We sat down and he began to tell us about his time as an "ammo-man" in the Ghanaian air force, how he became chief, and even that he went to the United States to get his MBA. We sat and listened to the chief and asked questions for about two hours. At the end of our meeting, two students got to pass the chief the traditional gifts we brought him. At that point, I thought everything was done, but then the chief turned to me and asked me to propose a toast. This caught me completely off guard, but as he addressed the rest of the group, I quickly thought of something to say. 

After the toast, the chief gave all of us one of his glossy, professional business cards and asked that we bring him investors to invest in his land (he even had an island for sale). We then began to get in a group to take a photo.

We began to head for the bus, but the chief had one more surprise for us. He told us he wanted to take us into town to the queen’s bead shop to buy us all bracelets. So he piled onto the bus with us and we took off for the bead shop. While there, we looked at all of the jewelry and chatted with the queen. After I chose my bracelet, some of the students and I found more kids outside of the shop.

Somehow, we began showing them SnapChat filters and all the kids were dying to be the focus of the camera. The puppy dog filter was definitely their favorite.

Once the phone’s battery died, my friend Megan spotted a fruit stand. She proceeded to buy all the children, ten of them total, the fruit of their choice. They were ecstatic. Shortly after that, a man walked by selling beef kebabs. After seeing the joy on the faces when they received the fruit, I couldn’t help but to buy all of them kebabs.

We all finally loaded onto the bus, with their new bracelets in hand. As we drove away, we waved goodbye to the children and they waved back with kebabs in hand. I also waved and gave a final goodbye to the chief as we headed down the road for Accra.

Taylor Wood Nana Gyan Oduro Dapaa II, Chief Senchi3L Taylor Wood and her classmates met Nana Gyan Oduro Dapaa II, the Senchi chief
meeting with the chief Discussion on the chief's porch
Nana Gyan Oduro Dapaa II, Divisional Chief of the Senchi on busThe chief, speaking with Vice Dean Aric Short, joined us on the bus to the queen's bead shop in the town market
Posing with KidsAggie Law students posing with the children
Ghana shopping with the chiefAt the queen's bead shop with the chief