Monday, 22 February 2016

Benjamin: Christmas in Sheffield

My name is Benjamin Afreh and I am the International Office Ambassador for Ghana here at Sheffield. You can find out more about me from my profile on the University’s web pages.
Benjamin at the Management School

As I wasn’t traveling back home to Ghana for Christmas, I initially had the feeling that I was not going to enjoy the occasion as I have always had with family and friends. But I managed to make the best out of the occasion here in Sheffield. I invited some friends and we spent three days cooking, celebrating, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. It wasn't the same spirit as it would have been if I was with my family, but it was exciting because it was a new way of celebrating Christmas.

My friends and I managed to create our own magic of Christmas and it was wonderful to see us switching off from our busy academic lives to enjoy the festive occasion. The height of the fashion will find my ‘abandoned’ British course mates, who preferred to celebrate the event with friends than travel back home, wearing violently red jumpers covered in snowflakes. We would eat varieties of food, home prepared, from roasted turkey breast to bacon rolls and chipolata sausages, and a wild rice, spinach, pine nut and portobello mushroom wellington.

We would also exchange give cards and gifts and take a day trip from Sheffield to Rowsley South Station, where we met Santa with his many elves saunters waiting to welcome us aboard his festive steam train. The train was travelling from Rowsley South Station to Matlock Platform 2 for one return journey lasting approximately an hour.As we chuffed merrily along, we saw Santa and his helpers sharing gifts, sweets and drinks with boys and girls in the train. My friends and I would sit back relax with glasses of hot mulled wine and a mince pie as we enjoy the festive music and performances of professional clowns and magicians  who would entertain us we travelled.

Then comes Christmas Eve, where I would have a wonderful time at the Hope City Church Sheffield, where I saw 5 to 9 year olds performing Christmas carols and plays on the birth of baby Jesus. It was easy to get a little carried away by the excitement.

With a new term approaching, it was also time for me to take some time away from the fun to plan my activities for the New Year. So after a few days of partying, carol concerts and having wonderful dinner with friends I went back to my room. Thanks to technology, I saw and heard everything going on back home in Ghana, while spending the remaining days eating cheese, watching movies and relaxing for the challenges that come with every New Year.

By Benjamin Afreh

International Office Ambassador for Ghana and West Africa


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