Can you imagine living across three continents? Naa Ardua from Paper Flo Designs can because she’s lived it.
In today’s conversation, she tells us about what it was like growing up in Ghana, Sierra Leon, and the US and then moving to France as an adult.
The lessons these experiences have taught her are deep truths that we can all benefit from. You can listen to our conversation on the Families Embracing Diversity Podcast or watch below:
Living Across three Continents
Naa Ardua was born in Ghana and then lived in Sierra Leon until around age 4 when her family decided to move to the US.
For her, the adjustment to life in the US wasn’t hard because she was with family.
She thinks of herself as a chameleon because she’s not afraid of new places.
“People are still welcoming and friendly. if you are welcoming and friendly with them and they will be friendly with you.”
Fun facts about Ghana:
On the weekends they would gather as a family and share a potluck of local foods: fufu, plantains, fish
Ghana is near the coast so seafood is very common.
If you’d like to learn more about Ghana, check out this kid’s guide.
Life in Frace
Naa Ardua moved to France without speaking the language but she forced herself to practice and learn.
“Once they saw I was willing to learn and make an effort they were really happy…that’s how I learned French, going and interacting with people every day.”
In some parts of France, everything is closed between 12-2 to honor the mid-day meal. (Naa Ardua is in South France.)
If you’d like to learn more about France, check out these fun facts.
Tips for approaching the immigration crisis
1. Differences are part of life.
Different cultures and lifestyles are not necessarily better or worse it’s just different. There is always something you can learn from someone else.”
2, Immigration is nothing new.
People have been immigrating since the beginning of time. We were all immigrants at one point or another and therefore should work to have more empathy,
3, There is nothing to be afraid of.
Instead, stop and ask more questions. Why are they telling me to fear this person? Can they benefit from my fear?
How Naa Ardua Embraces Diversity with her Kids
- They send their kids to visit in-laws in the US and North France and experience other lifestyles and cultures.
- She consistently speaks English with her children.
- She creates a safe space for her kids to ask questions about what they hear and learn about politics and cultures.
- Expose them to a diverse group of people with their own group of friends.
“Don’t be afraid to take a chance and meet someone new because you never know what you could be missing out on.”
If you’d like to start embracing diversity with your kids, check out these 14 great ideas to start today!
If you loved this interview with Naa Ardua, check out some of our other interviews with amazing Families Embracing Diversity in their own way like:
The Benefits of Long Term Travel with Susan Whitehead from Wanderlust Families.