Home Photo Making the move from Ghana to Idaho

Making the move from Ghana to Idaho

Three sisters from Ghana decided to make Rexburg, Idaho, their new home for the next few years. Freesia Kassah, Sefakor Kassah and Kukua Quansah are currently enrolled at BYU-Idaho.

The three sisters enjoy a Friday night with eachother.
The three sisters enjoy a Friday night with eachother. Photo credit: Brittanie Smith

Students come from all over the country to BYU-I, but what entices students outside of the U.S. to come here?

“I originally went to Michigan State when I first came to America,” said Sefakor Kassah, a sophomore studying biochemistry.

At 21 years old, she has been experiencing life away from Ghana friends, family and culture for almost three years.

“After a while some family suggested I come to BYU-Idaho; I’m so glad that I did,” Sefakor Kassah said.

The oldest of the three is Freesia “Fafa” Kassah. In 2015, she moved to Utah and served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. After completing her mission, she remained in Utah. Like Sefakor Kassah, she attended Michigan State, but felt there was a better university for her to attend.

“I love being at a school that is religious,” said Freesia Kassah, a junior studying communication. She’s also been a member her whole life and feels that as an international student at BYU-Idaho she is supported and loved by the students and the staff.

“Everyone here has made me feel welcomed, I’ve met so many amazing people,” Freesia Kassah said.

The youngest of the three is Kukua Quansah. She is currently majoring in general studies. Her hopes are one day to do something with fashion, as she currently makes quilts in her spare time.

Quilt made by Kukuah Quanasah.
Quilt made by Kukuah Quanasah. Photo credit: Brittanie Smith
The sisters recently got their hair box braided as a start to the new school year.
Every few weeks the sisters get their hair put into braids, a common hairstyle in their culture. Photo credit: Brittanie Smith
I love you in ASL embroidered by Kukuah.
I love you in ASL embroidered by Kukua. Photo credit: Brittanie Smith

“I’m glad I have the chance to take classes even though I haven’t fully decided what I want to do yet,” Quansah said.

At 18, she hopes to continue her education in Rexburg. She’s glad she has her family with her to support her and give her advice while she’s figuring things out.

Despite being away from Ghana, these girls still continue to keep their culture alive. One of the hardest things they’ve had to deal with living in America is the food. They’re used to making their meals fresh every day. They learned very quickly that fast food and leftovers are not the way to go. Luckily, they’ve been able to continue cooking meals that they grew up with.

Commonly eaten in Ghana is a chocolate powder similar to hot cocoa powder.
Commonly eaten in Ghana is a chocolate powder similar to hot cocoa powder. Photo credit: Brittanie Smith
Apples are another popular food the sisters incorporate into their many meals.
Apples are another popular food the sisters incorporate into their many meals. Photo credit: Brittanie Smith
Similar to peanut butter, Tasty Dzowoe flavors mainly the rice used in cooking.
Similar to peanut butter, Tasty Dzowoe flavors mainly the rice used in cooking. Photo credit: Brittanie Smith
Each family in Ghana has its own special recipe for this common dish of rice.
Each family in Ghana has its own special recipe for this common dish of rice. Photo credit: Brittanie Smith

With a primarily carb-based diet, most meals they eat typically include rice or fufu. Fufu is a dough-like food made from fresh or fermented cassava. Which is very commonly eaten in West Africa as well as Caribbean cuisines.

Not only do they have their food, but they continue to listen to music in their native language and are able to meet up with other students also from Ghana.

“I may not be in Ghana, but I was able to bring parts of it with me,” Sefakor Kassah said.

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