This picture was taken when I was sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolgatanga, Ghana in 2002. My Ghanian mother (pictured) spent hours making this dress and told me we had to dress the same as we're family and it's what you do. I had never worn anything like that and was so unsure of myself when I put it on, especially after my mother told me she made the outfit so we could have wings to fly (the extra fabric on the shoulders)! When I walked into the assembly hall everyone oohed and awed as my mother and I were the only ones dressed liked twins and in a traditional up and down. She was smiling from ear to ear so proud of me. I was extremely confident from then on and knew I was where I belonged, with my Ghanian family!