Making Connections: Shannon Williams & Adwowa Afenyi-Annan

One of the great things about doing what we do at the Language Academy is bringing people together that wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet if it weren’t for making the decision to take a language class with us. It’s one of the things that makes me most happy about my chosen profession. A few years back I led 3 separate group trips with the Language Academy to Spain. We flew in and out of Madrid but spent most of the time on the north coast in the city of San Sebastian in the Basque Country. If you haven’t been, just picture a mini Rio de Janeiro on the Cantabrian coast near the border with France. It has beaches, haystack mountains in the water, a Christ statue starting down on the city, and some of the greatest food & drink that you’ll find on the planet. I had the pleasure of meeting these two on the second trip and then they liked it so much that they came back with me the following year. None of us knew each other before the trip, but they quickly made friends and along with a few others, we became a small crew.

Shannon is a football-loving, Iraq veteran with an amazing sense of humor. She’s one of those people who can make your face hurt from laughing so much. She can also sing like an angel. Adwowa (pronounced Ad – joo – wah) is a CFP, a CPA, a diehard Michigan Wolverine and a flower maven who operates A-Wow The Plant Gal, LLC. You should see her greenhouse, and don’t worry, even her friends mess up her name. She loves travel, good food and good wine, so you can see why we get along so well.

I recently sent them both a set of questions to answer about how they met and their friendship. We’ll start with Shannon’s answers and I completely agree with what she says about Adwowa’s parents here. They are two people that I truly admire.


How did you first hear about the Language Academy and when did you take your first class?

I first found out about the Language Academy after doing a google search for schools in the Charlotte area. I took my first class around early 2013. (I think)

What made you decide to go on a Language Academy trip?

I absolutely love to travel so when I saw there was an opportunity to travel to Spain AND learn a new language, I was all in. It didn’t take much convincing but after talking to Craig, who I didn’t know at the time, it sealed the deal. I was impressed at how much thought he had put into planning the whole trip. I was very excited.

When did you two first meet and what were your first impressions of one another?

Adwowa and I met at the first pre-trip wine tasting, as is customary for these Language Academy trips. I thought she seemed nice, I liked her name and I liked that like me, she also was very fond of wine which was most important obviously…she thought I was a nut. 🙂

How has your friendship evolved since you first met?

Adwowa and I have since traveled together with the group and quite a few times without. We have the same ridiculous sense of humor and laugh and talk to each other in ways that few people would understand. I adore her family and see them every time I get the opportunity. We speak as often as busy adults do and can always pick up right where we left off if it’s been awhile. I don’t know if our paths would have ever crossed if it had not been for Craig and the Language Academy.

What’s something you can tell our readers about me that you think will surprise people?

Hands down…Craig has THE best taste in music!

 


And now for Adwowa’s responses:

 

 

How did you first hear about the Language Academy and when did you take your first class?

A group of friends and I were out at the beginning of 2013 discussing new year’s resolutions. We all had the same one: an interest in learning to speak Spanish. One of my friends whipped out her cell phone and googled “Spanish classes in Charlotte,” and the Language Academy came up!

What made you decide to go on a Language Academy trip?

First, Spain has always been on my list of places I wanted to go. I’m not even sure why (besides the obvious fact that Spain is awesome). Also, after seeing the flyer and having a good discussion with Craig, I felt confident that I’d have a great experience. It’s the first trip of that length that I’ve ever taken and I have never looked back!

When did you two first meet and what were your first impressions of one another?

Shannon and I met at the wine tasting orientation for the Fall 2013 Spain Trip. My first impression of her is that she seemed fun! It made me more excited to go on the trip.

How has your friendship evolved since you first met?

Ummm…not sure how to even answer this. We’re basically family now.

What’s something you can tell our readers about me that you think will surprise people?

Oh goodness…hmmm…not sure what beans to spill here. 🙂

You have a strong compassion for minority groups and the discrimination that we face. I suppose this shouldn’t be that surprising, since I’m sure your international exposure has made you more open and accepting of people from all walks of life. And also, you’re an amazing chef!



Craig Snyder is the Owner and President of The Language Academy of the Carolinas, Inc.

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