Livin’ Large with Marge: A whole lotto gelato

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Apr 302008
 
Authors: Maggie Canty

Most Americans prefer things big.

If you’re paying the better part of five dollars for a scoop of ice cream, it better be half the size of your head and make you sick if you eat the whole thing.

Which you will.

There’s nothing wrong with it. We just want more bang for our buck.

So you can imagine my disappointment the first time I had gelato. I ordered a medium, thinking it would be plenty, and received a petri-sized dish with a small dollop of the Italian ice cream, and given a mere toothpick-like tool to eat it with.

Upset and confused, I left the store in disgust to eat my baby-sized portion alone.

However, I found myself pleasantly surprised and somewhat elated after I took my first bite of the frozen treat. It’s rich, dense texture packed more flavor into each bite than any regular ice cream. I found myself perfectly satisfied with the portion size.

And the added bonus: no post-Cold Stone stomachache.

Apparently Italians have more to offer than hairy backs and spaghetti sauce.

Gelato, according to Ti-Amo, a gelato producer, is made by super cooling the ingredients (using milk instead of cream) while constantly stirring them, producing the dense texture with less than 35 percent air – compared with traditional ice cream’s 90 percent.

This process packs in the taste without the fat (but close to twice the sugar).

“The fat in ice cream actually blocks a lot of the flavor,” said Marcy Maxwell, the general manager at Gelazzi in Old Town. “Gelato is lighter. It’s a great treat without the guilt of ice cream.”

It’s also stored at lower temperatures, keeping it softer and more flavorful. But eat fast, because it melts quicker, too.

Don’t book a plane ticket to Europe quite yet. There are plenty of places right here in Fort Collins that offer fine Italian ice cream without the language barrier.

La Dolce Vita, located on the northwest corner of Drake and Shields, offers the combination of both gelato and mediocre coffee drinks with a large study area. And eat as much as you like; Pulse Fitness Club is right next door.

Gelazzi, a growing gelato chain, features numerous flavors along with specialty alcoholic drinks – perfect for the 21st birthday girl.

Nearest to campus is Déj/ Vu Coffeehouse, whose new owners added a gelato counter last summer.

They rotate a few select flavors, but their employees are friendly enough to make up for anything their selection lacks.

No matter where you end up, just keep in mind that when it comes to ice cream, go big or go Italian.

Entertainment editor Maggie Canty can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Get sauced at Campus West Shell’s Smoking BBQ

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Apr 302008
 
Authors: Shari Blackman

I’ve never spent so much time at a gas station convenience store in my life, but it was smoke that drew me to the Campus West Shell on Shields Street near Elizabeth.

And now I’m hooked.

The eyes get it first – that glimpse of smoke billowing from the big black cylindrical machine on wheels. Then it’s the nose, catching the sweet, pungent aroma of smoked meat. But it’s the mouth, the taste, that does you in.

Lately the Shell store is a happenin’ place. Terry B. Wilson (“the B is for barbecue”), a cook fresh from Kansas City, set up his Raymond’s Rollin’ & Smoking BBQ in a kitchen shared with Angela Ramdass, who hails from Trinidad and peddles her Island vittles at the Caribbean Food Shack.

Both have excellent sauces, their own special style, and keenly know their niche.

At Angela’s, you’ll find meat pies, street vendor “doubles,” “roti” (also known as pork chop sandwiches) and fish or vegetarian entrees, along with daily specials and all-you-can-eat Spaghetti Sundays.

Don’t expect ordinary spaghetti, lemonade or pork chops from Angela. She infuses everything with her island touch. The tamarind marinade is a perfect blend of sweet and tang. And if you like it hot, try the “Stupid” hot sauce or Jamaican Jerk Wings.

My favorites are doubles – only $1.95 each: fried barra bread stuffed with chickpeas and catfish on Fish Fridays. With herb-laced batter and a slight kick, the fish is tender and moist.

I also love the sautéed slightly sweet, pie-spiced pumpkin that accompanies entrées. And when the pumpkin is stirred into a warm and creamy coconut milk soup, there’s nothing better. But try it all. I’ve yet to be disappointed.

“You don’t need teeth to eat our beef” boasts the sign above Raymond’s, and this is true for the tender brisket that Terry B. pulls from the smoker and chops finely for his brisket sandwich, or the popular “Famous” Raymond, which is piled high with the tasty stuff and topped with a slab of smoked beef bologna and a hotlink.

You might need teeth for the ribs though. They’re loaded with meat and, even without one of Terry B’s three levels of sauce, they pack their own smoky spice.

Vegetarians aren’t completely ignored at Raymond’s. True, meat’s the thing, but the sides are delicious too. Terry B. makes baked beans as tasty as I’ve had and his potato salad mightily improves on the bland potato.

Since grilling season and graduation are upon us, it’s time for marinades and sauces. You could really impress your guests by soaking and grilling chicken or fish with Angela’s Tamarind Chutney or by slathering Terry B’s barbecue sauce on ribs and chicken.

Prices at Raymond’s range from $6 for a Smoked Beef Bologna sandwich to $9.75 for Baby Backs.

Raymond’s has chicken too, at $7 for a half and $12.99 for a whole. Sandwiches come with one side; entrees come with two.

At the Caribbean Food Shack, you’ll pay $1.95 for an “island” hot dog (“Not your typical gas station wiener!”) or a doubles or aloo pie sandwich, with prices up to $6.95 for a catfish dinner on Friday or a BakeNShark (“Voted #1 Sandwich by Andrew Zimmern of Travel Channel”).

The dining atmosphere at the Shell station is a tad improved by outdoor seating, and speakers that now pipe blues and honky tonk, but that’ll never be the draw. It’s the food they’re dishing up that’s not to be missed.

So follow the smoke and go for the regional cuisine at Campus West Shell.

A gas station never smelled so good.

Staff writer Shari Blackman can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Local slam poetry performances full of personality, persona

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Apr 302008
 
Authors: Jessi Stafford

Larry Holgerson is a writer, a caregiver and a “this, that and the other.” Most days he adorns himself in jeans and t-shirts as he goes about the various tasks of his day.

Some people, however, don’t know the everyday Holgerson. In fact, some people may not even know him by his real name. They would better know him as Booger and, as such, he would likely be wearing silver cowboy boots and tie dye.

And Booger is a slam poet.

“It’s a persona. It’s personality plus,” he said.

Booger, in addition to three others, is a slam master for a local slam poetry contest at the Bean Cycle and Matter Bookstore every first Friday of every month, making this Friday at 8 p.m. the next battle.

“It’s the best free performance in town,” Booger said.

Slam poetry began in the ’80’s in Chicago as a new wave of performance poetry, and, has since made its way around the country into smoke-filled bars and vibrant cafes.

“It’s a dynamic art,” Booger said. “It’s about presentation, it’s not written. It’s 50 percent poetry and 50 percent presentation.”

And the audience is expected to participate as well, he says. It’s as much about the poet as it is those listening.

Donations are also part of the show, as audience members are encouraged to chip in for the winning poet’s post-victory celebration.

But donations don’t always end up being of a monetary sort, as the jar usually ends up with Twinkies, bike parts, make-up and other random contributions, Booger says.

The real sh**

Paul Skogerboe competed for the first time the first Friday in April and won fourth place. His style has a rap-like rhythm to it, which, according to Booger, is blossoming among the college-age crowd.

“It’s a good way to express myself,” Skogerboe said. “It’s self-reflection, expression, you know, yada yada.”

Skogerboe has been in rap groups for three years and finds there are plenty differences between rapping on stage and performing spoken word before an audience.

“This is a lot harder. It’s totally different,” he said. “It’s more real, really.”

And after attending contests, he found his initial assumptions about slam poetry were quickly swept away.

“I thought it was great . people were really speaking their mind,” he said. “You would think poetry is something rhyming, but none of them did that. It was really unique.”

Skogerboe has only begun to scratch the surface of slam poetry, he says, and plans on performing more pieces in the future.

“I write about everything I think about,” he said. “Screwed-up shit in the world.”

Average Jane

“Slam poetry is really social commentary on various topics,” Booger said. “What people see as relevant says a lot about society.”

Jessica Wacker has competed in a few slam poetry contests and watched various others while living in Chicago. She says slam poetry in Fort Collins is different than in big cities, but the topics vary just as much here as they do anywhere else. And, she says, the best part about this type of poetry reading is that anyone can do it.

“It’s really coming off the street,” Wacker said.

The academia part of poetry is taken out, Booger says, and a raw, theatrical art form takes its place.

“It’s exhilarating . a chance to be much more interactive,” Wacker said. “It’s a sense of sharing.”

In the Fort Collins scene, Booger says there’s a wide variety of slam poets. And he is excited about the increasing participation from college students and the packed houses he continues to see on competition nights.

But, mostly, he is just excited about the art itself.

“I like to dig down deep for something that will stick to ya,” Booger said. As for Wacker, she just looks forward to each and every time she can “find a mic and yell into it.”

Staff writer Jessi Stafford can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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Atmosphere’s new album features effortless flow and unconventional hip-hop

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Apr 302008
 
Authors: Nick Scheidies

Intro: Where does hip-hop thrive? New York, L.A. and . Minneapolis? Believe it or not, Minnesota-based Rhymesayers Entertainment is quietly garnering attention with atypical rappers like Brother Ali.

Veteran hip-hop duo Atmosphere is made up of two of the label’s co-founders, MC Slug and Producer/DJ Ant. Their new album is “When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.”

Pros: Fittingly, the pair’s chemistry is golden. Slug’s flow is effortless and gripping as he tells slice of life stories about single mothers, hobos and prostitutes. For each unique story, Ant provides a unique sound. The heroin-centric “Shoulda Known” features a grimy synthesizer, while “In Her Music Box,” a song about a child, showcases – well – a music box.

Cons: Much like its title, “When Life Gives You Lemons .” is a bit too long for its own good and two or three underwhelming songs could have been dropped. Couple this with a lack of guest artists (Slug takes every verse and half-speaks-half-sings the choruses) and the album begins to be grating.

Definitive Track: “Yesterday” is comprised instrumentally of a simple beat and one very bluesy, barroom piano – and that’s it.

This gives your full attention to Slug’s rap: a captivating, self-effacing story about a man coming to terms with his father’s death. But the same two measures of piano can only go so far.

Conclusion: It makes sense that an unconventional location, Minneapolis, would produce unconventional hip-hop. With “When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold”, Atmosphere continues to redefine – and restore hope for – the genre with a distinctive blend of earnest rapping and adventurous production.

Staff writer Nick Scheidies can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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‘Culture jamming’ cool enough for mainstream, thanks to ‘Adbusters’

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Apr 302008
 
Authors: Griffin Faust

Purpose: Adbusters advocates numerous social, political and environmental causes, simultaneously dissenting from just as many other pressures faced by citizens in a capitalist society. This publication illuminates what meek “truth” still survives in the resistant underground; it campaigns for “clean mental environment” in the developed world essentially run by corporate bullies. The title is far from subtle — Adbusters wants to eradicate mindless consumerism and advertisement pollution.

Audience: I can’t top what’s already been claimed on Adbusters.com: “Our readers are professors and students; activists and politicians; environmentalists and media professionals; corporate watch dogs and industry insiders; kids who love our slick ad parodies and parents who worry about their children logging too many hours a day in the electronic environment.”

Adbusters is infamous for its “culture jamming” network of admirers who cling to their liberalness and usually are involved in some sort of activism. At its roots Adbusters is about examining the relationship between media and its effect on the mental world.

Kudos: I’ve heard critics say that Adbusters relies too heavily on style to make up for mediocre content, which I think is a copout complaint. The art isn’t dominant, it matches the content — provocative and revealing of what goes largely unnoticed because of societal norms. The big buck to boot here is the fact that Adbusters reaches across oceans and mountains to reach readers and contributors; the result is an international blog-like pool of writers, designers and photojournalists that provide what no corporate product ever could. The substance is natural, postmodern in its fragmentation and design inconsistency and blends the rhetoric techniques logos, mythos and ethos.

Draw Backs: There is the possibility that Adbusters oversteps its chutzpah. I wouldn’t go as far to call it arrogant, but it’s attempting to further an anti-consumerist ethic that it fundamentally belittles by being a successful, top-selling magazine with advertisement treatments of its own. In all its ironic glory, Adbusters’ genuine appeal just so happens to fit into what the “mainstream” seems to be: trying really, really hard not to be like everything else. Less importantly, Adbusters is released quarterly. To me, this means a long wait between new editions and the issues covered within are general trends versus time-oriented events.

Bottom Line: “Culture jamming” is a cool concept too complex to be elaborated in the limited space of a few lines. I recommend this magazine very highly — thoroughly pleasing and more substance in one edition than most of my classes. I’m a happy Adbusters subscriber.

Staff writer Griffin Faust can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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“Baby Mama” has great laughs but predictable moments

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Apr 302008
 
Authors: Jeff Schwartz

“Baby Mama” was the number one movie at the box office last weekend, and with good reason — it’s a broad, mainstream comedy that stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and was written and directed by Michael McCullers, who is probably best known for co-writing “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” with Mike Myers.

“Baby Mama” doesn’t have the sly charm of Fey’s screenplay for “Mean Girls,” nor is it as anarchic and silly as the Austin Powers films, but it’s a diverting comedy with some great laughs.

The film begins with a voiceover, as Kate Holbrook (Fey) laments her childless status.

Kate, a VP at a health foods company, desperately wants to have a baby, and has tried, without any luck, every method in the book to conceive. The subsequent cut to Kate at dinner with a bemused man, as she realizes she has divulged far too much information for a first date, makes for a nice laugh.

Kate is a familiar character in modern comedy: the intelligent, high maintenance, career-woman whose love life is usually in shambles. Years ago this role would have been played by Meg Ryan, but Fey does well with it since she is an actress who can modulate between deadpan and exasperated.

And exasperated is just what Kate becomes when she reluctantly decides to try having a baby through a surrogate named Angie Ostrowski (Poehler).

Angie’s fertilization, using Kate’s eggs, is successful, but matters are complicated when Angie walks out on her slovenly husband and moves in with Kate.

Kate and Angie butt heads almost instantly. Kate, a health nut and neat-freak, wants Angie to eat well and prepare for the pregnancy as much as possible.

But Angie, who might charitably be described as uncouth and petulant, would rather sit around all day drinking Dr. Pepper and Slushies and playing American Idol Karaoke Revolution.

The spats between Kate and Angie, though predictable, are funny, but some of the film’s best moments come from the supporting players, like Steve Martin.

Martin, sporting a ponytail and a surfer-dude/Zen attitude, plays Kate’s boss Barry, a health food store president. Martin gets a great laugh in a scene where he describes finding a seashell, whose design he wants all his stores to emulate, while strolling barefoot.through the Toronto airport.

“Baby Mama” is funny and that’s all that really matters in a comedy, but I can’t help but wonder what the movie would have been like if Fey, an accomplished comic writer, had scripted the film based on her personal experiences (Fey has a two and a half year old daughter) instead of McCullers.

Fey’s writing could have given the film with a more subversive tone, which might have elevated “Baby Mama” above its mainstream origins.

Jeff Schwartz can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Rocky Mountain Showdown moved to Sunday

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Apr 302008
 
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

The Rocky Mountain Showdown, the annual football rivalry game between CSU and CU-Boulder, has been moved to Sunday, Aug. 31, a day after it was originally scheduled, the two universities announced Wednesday.

The change was made to give emergency personnel working the Democratic National Convention the week leading up to the game an extra day off and to secure national television coverage.

The DNC will be held Aug. 25-28 at Pepsi Center in Denver.

Fox Sports Net will broadcast the game, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver.

CU has won four of the last six showdowns, all of which were decided by seven points or less, and leads the all-time series 58-19-2.

Next summer’s matchup will be the first game for the Rams under new coach Steve Fairchild.

The Buffalos defeated the Rams in overtime last year, 27-24.

The following week CSU will host Sacramento State on Saturday, Sept. 6 at Hughes Stadium for its home opener.

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Cycling host championship hoping to become nation’s best

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Apr 302008
 
Authors: Ashley Emmons

With lukewarm air rushing through their helmets, a group of men ride along Interstate 25.

These blurs of green and gold are members of CSU’s club cycling team, one of the largest club sports on campus with an estimated 100 riders, 40 who compete in events.

This year, the team has the honor of hosting the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships May 9-11.

Emily Francis, team member and a senior natural resources recreation and tourism major, bought her first bike in the fall of 2006 and has been riding with the team ever since.

She said the team has been spending hours upon hours of preparation for nationals.

“There are many hours put into training. There are also a lot of races that we have to compete in to have the experience and qualifications to race in nationals,” Francis said.

Fourteen riders will be representing CSU at nationals, where champions are awarded the national jersey – a uniform with an American flag design.

Coach Ainslie MacEachran said he believes CSU to be among the top schools in the nation vying for the title.

“We are on a mission, we want to win nationals this year,” MacEachran said.

T.G. Taylor, president of the team, said the number of riders allowed to compete depends on how many riders the course can hold.

“We are restricted by the geography of the courses and the maximum capacity they can hold safely,” Taylor said.

Taylor and the rest of the team had to prepare for hosting the event by getting permits from the city and businesses.

“We had to go door to door on the course routes and get signatures saying it is okay to have the event take place,” Francis, treasurer of the cycling team, said.

By talking to the city, the team was able to coordinate with emergency services and traffic diversions for race days.

There are an estimated 40 schools from across the nation coming to Fort Collins for the event.

The team had to make plans with hotels to make sure they can accommodate these riders and their bikes.

For competition the team is separated into categories based on experience and skill. Men and women compete at the A, B and C levels.

The “A” level is for pro/semi pro riders; athletes at this level are professional riders or have a lot of experience with cycling competitively.

Riders competing in the “B” level are sport experts, meaning they have cycling experience and are very familiar with racing.

“C” riders are beginners, cyclists who are just starting out and want to race.

Each rider is able to choose which category to compete in.

They are also tested by the coaches to make sure they can handle the competitiveness of each level.

Each cyclist is limited to one level.

While competing plays a pivotal role in the competition, the team strives to create a bigger program that includes riders with all levels of experience.

One of the main things the team focuses on is getting more people involved and excited about cycling.

“We really want to break down the barrier that cyclists are snobs and that you have to have expensive gear and lots of experience,” Francis said. “We want people to come and join the team or support us and see what fun cycling is.”

MacEachran added that the club is an easy way to ease into the sport and develop skills.

“It’s a fun environment,” MacEachran said. “They get to go to top notch events and still have fun and be a college kid.”

Any student taking classes at CSU can join the team.

Prior racing experience is not needed, and members on the team don’t have to race and can simply enjoy riding.

Taylor said he has many goals for the team.

“We want to continue to grow cycling at CSU and in Fort Collins,” said Taylor, a graduate student studying journalism.

Staff writer Ashley Emmons can be reached at news@collegain.com.

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Our View – Election saga not entirely a waste of time

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Apr 302008
 
Authors:

After weeks of controversial proposals and embarrassing revelations, we have finally reached the end of the Associated Students of CSU election saga, and what a let down it has been.

While we feel Estevan Jaimes did the right thing by pulling their appeal, the time and energy of everyone involved was wasted working on an appeal that never was.

Jaimes should’ve given better thought to his other options before filing an appeal that he’d eventually give up on.

At least we can give credit that he’s accomplished what he said he was out to do in regards to the appeal: to raise attention to some rather questionable decisions made by ASCSU’s election commission.

As of now, Taylor Smoot has given his word that an ad hoc committee will be put into place to address the election issues that sorely need answers.

Obviously, the rules regarding election budget caps need thorough examination.

This ad hoc committee needs to draw conclusions as to what can be considered “fair market value” and how future election committees will address the issue of determining expenditures when necessary, as was the case with Smoot’s “free” concert during campaigning.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

The many lessons learned in Ghana

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Apr 302008
 
Authors: Luci StorelliCastro

Dear Mates,

As with everything: All good things must come to an end.

For me, this means leaving Ghana in June. As I begin to close the chapter on this wonderful African adventure, I have started thinking about what this experience has taught me and, more importantly, how it has forever changed who I am.

In preparing for this article, I reminisced on my evolution from a clueless awe-struck obruni (white foreigner) to a more seasoned traveler and active member of the greater Ghanaian community. Throughout my various stages of evolution, I picked up on valuable lessons. Below I have attempted to convey some of these lessons through the use of anecdotes.

It’s not forgive and forget, it’s forgive and remember.

Nobody has a better reason to be bitter than a Liberian refugee. From the lawyer who has been relegated to petty trading, the student whose high aspirations have been put on hold, and the weatherman who now spends his afternoons playing checkers, these people have lost everything. They have lost their livelihoods, their homes, loved ones, and some even their dignity. Yet, from conversations about the past, one would be hard — pressed to find a hateful person.

Liberians at Buduburam have much to offer the world in terms of learning to forgive.

“What would you do if you saw [former Liberian president and accused war-criminal] Charles Taylor walking down the street,” I have asked different refugees on several occasions.

Their response: Nothing. Live and let live is their motto. While the heinous crimes of the past should not be forgotten, this does not mean we should consume ourselves in a prison of resent.

Find comfort in the unfamiliar.

When the lights go out, turn on a flashlight. When the water goes out, take a bucket bath. When the bathrooms are so unsanitary you feel you might just lose your stomach, use the bush. When offered rat soup, hold your nose and say “yummy!” When somebody compliments your “fur” (also known as arm hair), say thank you. And when your bus breaks down in a forest in the middle of the night, grab a book because it’s going to be a long wait.

Just roll with the punches.

Don’t have a car and need to transport a television? Grab a bike and strap that television set on your head. Yes, it’s possible — I’ve seen it with my own eyes. The guy was even smiling as he rode past in the smoldering heat.

Take risks.

When I decided to come to Ghana, many of my friends and family members were worried — and understandably so. Africa doesn’t have a very good reputation.

Diseases, war, corruption, famine, abject poverty, and hungry lions are some of the images that shape our construction of the so mystified Dark Continent.

You’d be surprised at how most of these stereotypes are so far removed from actual reality. In fact, I have feared more for my safety in New York City than in Accra.

The only time that I have felt even remotely worried was during a week long venture into the Ivory Coast, where we had to pass military checkpoints at each village entrance. Here, soldiers with big AK-47s would flag down cars with a whistle and demand to inspect selected passenger’s identification cards.

That was rather intimidating, especially for four white girls who couldn’t speak French.

Make your community your family.

In Ghana, one often refers to a teacher as an auntie and a friend as a brother or sister. These labels reflect the role of the community as extended family.

Not long ago, I was stuck in the middle of traffic in a hot and congested tro-tro when a baby started crying. Immediately, a passenger directed the mother to open the window wider, believing the baby to be suffering from heat, as another bought a bag of plantain chips in case the baby was hungry.

For Ghanaians, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is not just a proverb, but a philosophy of life.

Luci Storelli-Castro is a senior political science and philosophy major studying abroad in Ghana. Her column usually appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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