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August 2011

Day #11-18 (Aug 24th - 31st, 2011)   (published in Ghana)

August 31, 2011 by   Comments(0)

Soooo much has happened since I updated my blog last. I had a blog completed a couple of days ago but it was deleted by accident :(

Anyways....I went travelling on the weekend to Wli Waterfalls. It was about a 9 hour drive from Cape Coast. The waterfalls were the best falls i've ever seen. My group and I climbed a few hundred feet on a 2 feet wide path up the mountain. If any of us had lost our balance we'd be TOAST!!!

My works going great with the kids. I had two days off because of the Cape Coast Ghanian Festival so back to work tomorrow!!!!

I ended up visiting the Cape Coast Castle. It was interesting and sad at the same time especially when they showed us the rooms where the slaves were kept. If your not sure what the castle's history is all about check it out on google.

My stay in Africa is pretty good. I'm loving it here and excited at the same time to be starting some new projects out here. We shall see how it all goes.

Will be updating my blog next week.

- Simi

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Day #11-18 (Aug 24th - 31st, 2011)http://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/schohan/read/132380/day-1118-aug-24th-31st-2011
Day #11-18 (Aug 24th - 31st, 2011)
 

Søndag den 28.08.11 klokken 18.37   (published in Ghana)

August 31, 2011 by   Comments(0)

Søndag den 28.08.11 klokken 18.37 

Fredag:

En af de andre frivillige kom op på børnehjemmet i dag, så vi andre introducerede ham og viste ham rundt, han var meget imponeret over størrelsen af stedet og han virkede til at have haft en god dag, men fortalte ham dog at det ikke er ligeså sjovt at være der hvis man er der hver dag!J

Jeg tog hjem direkte efter arbejde og snakkede med Goody (har fundet ud af at det er sådan hendes navn staves), hun spurgte om jeg ville hjælpe med at lave et fødselsdagskort til Gustavs søster, tror det er hendes tante eller kusine :p har stadig ikke helt fundet ud af det.. Klokken 17 tog jeg af sted til stadium hvor jeg mødte de andre frivillige på en restaurant “it’s my kitchen”, her fik jeg kylling i karry med ris OG en øl! Club - ganske udmærket faktisk, smager lidt som en Heineken. Vi sad og snakkede, delte oplevelser med hinanden og tog lidt billeder. Ganske hyggeligt, men der var jo den gospel koncert som vi alle havde glædet os meget til. Der gik vi hen ved 20 tiden. MEN det viste sig at der ikke var helt så mange mennesker og ikke helt så meget gospel over det som vi alle havde forestillet os. Der var en scene i midten (har også taget billeder) på det her stadium, og hvor der var plads til 5000-7000 mennesker (cirka) sad cirka 400. Så det var sgu ikke helt som forventet. Men eftersom vi alle var samlet, var det hyggeligt nok. Vi købte en FanIce, grinede lidt over situationen og så gik vi ellers efter halvanden time. (“showet varede 5,5 timer!!) Vi tog hen på en bar hvor vi ville have en øl, men der var tilsyneladende en eller anden award så dét gik ikke. Vi tog på noget der hed Vienna Place, men der kostede det 10 cedis at komme ind, fordi der var planlagt et eller andet. I mellemtiden var Daniel kørt til Adum for at hæve penge så vi kunne ikke bare gå videre, det begyndte at regne og vi blev egentlig ret våde -.- Daniel kom og vi gik (i regnvejr) hen til en anden bar, her fik de andre sig nogle øl og shots, men jeg var sgu ikke helt i humør til drikkeri, så jeg sad bare og snakkede med. 23.30 tog jeg en taxa hjem og min mormor var meget glad for at se mig i god behold. Fik dagen efter at vide at de andre var taget på Club til klokken 4!

 

Lørdag:

Stod op 07.30, spiste morgenmad, denne gang med lidt honningJ!

Tog med en tro-tro til Abrepo Junktion, derefter til Kejetia, en kæmpe tro-tro station. Her skulle vi mødes ved “a red two story building” men den kunne jeg selvfølgelig ikke finde, ringede til Mike der var arrangøren, men en afrikansk fyr tog telefonen?? Mens jeg snakkede med ham, kom Marvin forbi og han vidste heller ikke hvor det var, vi ringede til en anden tysk pige, hende fandt vi, ringede til Stewart og mødte i stedet for ham, Mike under det store skilt med STAR (øllen), herfra gik vi mod bygningen vi skulle mødes ved og fandt her Stewart sammen med to piger, Annick og Cathrine, så manglede der kun Paolo. Han kom til sidst, MED Mikes mobil og pung, han havde vidst været ret fuld dagen før.. Det tog kun en time og et kvarter inden vi alle var samlet og sad i tro-troen på vej mod aberne og vandfaldene. Vi gav 4 cedis for at komme med tro-troen, og vi kørte i næsten tre timer! Billigt!!

Vi ankom til en station, vi købte noget mad (ris, nudler, grøntsager, sauce) og tog med en taxi til Monkeys Sanctuary. Jeg har stadig ikke set et speedometer i en taxa der virker 100%, og kun sikkerhedsseler i én!

På vej derud kørte vi på nogle suuuuper dårlige veje, der var lavet af rødt “sand”, vi svedte, så man kunne se hvor man var beskidt, vores tøj var helt rødt og alle parasoller osv vi kørte forbi havde også fået en fin rød farve.

Marvin og Mike havde set aberne før (de rejser hjem næste uge) så de ventede bare ved “indgangen”, vi var seks der tog på guidet tur. Det var en lille afrikansk mand, med meget få tænder i sin mund der talte næsten uforståeligt engelsk. Men vi så aberne, fodrede dem, vi så gamle træer, 300 år gamle, vi klatrede i et af dem, vi så en abe kirkegård, og så fik vi fornøjelsen af at betalte 7 cedis. Det var nok ikke heeeelt det værd, men nu har jeg da oplevet det! Vi fik os en cola, hvilket de har de mest øde steder(!!), og tog derefter tilbage til stationen, her fik vi en anden taxa, denne gang mod vandfaldene.

Hele dagen havde solet skinnet, men da vi kørte mod vandfaldene, kunne vi i horisonten se at det regnede og lynede, det fik vores humør til at dale en smule da det var dét vi alle havde glædet os til. Da vi ankom til vandfaldene var der egentlig lukket, var tæt på at flippe ud, men heldigvis lukkede de os ind alligevel. Der var gråvejr og det regnede en smule, men det tog fem minutter og så stod vi for enden af et super flot vandfald. Vi tog en masse billeder og vi fik også badet. Det var faktisk ikke særlig koldt, kun bagefter. Men det var en fed oplevelse!!J Vi gik op til indgangen hvor der var en hytte med stråtag, her kunne vi se solnedgangen, der var godt nok en palme i vejen, men det gjorde det bare endnu smukkere. Der var ikke nogen der sagde noget, vi nød bare øjeblikket. Der er solnedgang i omkring 5 minutter og så er der næsten totalt mørke. Vi kørte mod stationen hvor vi igen købte noget mad, satte os i tro-troen og kørte hjem. Det begyndte for alvor at regne, at tordne og lyne. I Danmark er der lyn sådan hver tredje minut, men her er det bare hele tiden og det hele bliver lyst op. Hvis man havde siddet i en stor skoda med sædevarme på bagsædet havde det været super flot, men når man sidder i en utæt tro-tro der er ved at falde fra hinanden er det knap så fedt. Det var virkelig en lang tur hjem, men en oplevelse alligevel. På turen frem og tilbage så man en anden del af Afrika. Lerhytter med stråtag, folk der bor i vejkanten og børn der leger med gummihjul.

Det var alt i alt en rigtig god dag, og ikke en jeg ville være foruden.

 

Søndag:

Min familie bankede vidst på døren 07.23, men der “sov” jeg altså. Var simpelthen så træt og klokken blev over 12 før jeg kom i seng. Sov en time mere og stod op til “store rengøringsdag”. Michael, Gustavs fætter (troede de var brødre) var ved at vaske gulv, mormor fejede i køkkenet, Goody skrubbede badeværelset og følte mig en smule malplaceret da jeg satte mig og spiste morgenmad. Spurgte Goody om jeg ikke måtte skrubbe, men nej.. Gik i stedet ind på mit eget værelse og fejede, med deres koste (“siv” snørede sammen), det gik meget godt og mormor var meget begejstret. Jeg fik lov at hjælpe med at gøre mit eget badeværelse rentJ

Herefter gik jeg udenfor hvor Michael nu var i færd med at vaske tøj, snakkede lidt med ham, og hjalp med at vaske en gulvmåtte :p Herefter kom den 2 årlige Makayla hen til mig og jeg underholdte hende lidt, fik lov at bære hende på afrikansk manér (med et klæde rundt om maven og barnet bagpå) og mormor var igen meget begejstret og fik taget billeder og jeg var over ved Makaylas mormor og vise det.

Til middag fik jeg serveret hjemmelavet Fufu og fiskesuppe, men jeg brød mig ikke om det og måtte meget flov fortælle det til mormor, men det gjorde ingenting og jeg fik i stedet ris med noget rødt “sovs”, og en omelet. Dét smagte til gengæld godt! Herefter gik jeg ind på mit eget værelse og så friends i et par timer.

Til aften fik jeg spaghetti med pølser, og fik en god lang snak med mormoren. Hun er virkelig et fantastisk menneske. Hun har haft frivillige boende i seks år og hun fortalte at grunden til hun går meget op i at tage sig godt af os er, at der så bliver sig godt af hendes børn der bor i USA. Hun beder hver midnat for at det skal gå dem godt, HVER midnat. Jeg spurgte: hvorfor midnat? “Fordi det står i biblen”. Hun elsker også alle mennesker, det står der også i biblen. Man skal være god ved alle for så giver Gud noget igen.

Hendes søn ringede ligesom vi sad og snakkede om kartofler :p Men det er ham der bor i USA og ville lige sige hej, jeg fik også snakket med ham og fortalte endnu en gang at jeg har det godt hos hans mor! Gav ham min e-mail adresse og nu har han fundet mig på facebook. Måske jeg skal slette druk-billeder??

 

Diverse:

Jeg har fundet ud af at der findes forskellige dyt:

Da vi kørte i “ørkenen” gik det meget op og ned og nogle gange kunne man ikke se vejen fordi det gik opad, derfor dyttede chaufføren for at advarer eventuelle fodgængere og de gør det samme i byerne.

Jeg vil gerne overhale.

Jeg vil gerne have passagerer med.

Hey dig kender jeg jo!

Du er en klovn, flyt dig dog fra vejen!

Der er grønt, KØR!

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Søndag den 28.08.11 klokken 18.37http://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/cbak/read/132328/sndag-den-280811-klokken-1837
Søndag den 28.08.11 klokken 18.37
 

Torsdag den 25.08.11 kl. 20.34   (published in Ghana)

August 31, 2011 by   Comments(0)

Torsdag den 25.08.11 kl. 20.34

I dag har været en meget stille og rolig dagJ De små børn sov da jeg kom, halvdelen var på en ekskursion, så der var kun fem piger tilbage. Så jeg var nede på “legepladsen” i stedet for og legede med drengene. Efter arbejde tog jeg på internet café, på skype. Kan ikke helt undvære dem derhjemme.. :i Mike - en anden frivillig kom ind da jeg skulle til at gå og han havde to af pigerne med fra børnehjemmet. De havde aldrig set en computer før og var selvfølgelig meget imponerede. Jeg tog den ene af pigerne på skødet og hjalp hende med at skrive nogle få ord, derefter gav jeg hende headset på og fandt “Waka Waka” med Shakira. Den kunne hun synge med på og det skal jeg lige love for at hun gjorde, måtte tysse på hende flere gange. Tror virkelig det var en oplevelse for dem!

På internet caféen mødte jeg også de andre fra PB så jeg tog med nogle af dem i supermarkedet og købte en FanIce! Fantastisk god vaniljeis på “pose” :p Bagefter købte jeg nogle appelsiner, her spiser man dem ikke i både, man skræller det yderste af skrællen af, skærer et hul foroven og så suger man ellers bare saften ud. Jeg fik pruttet om prisen og fik 3 appelsiner for 50 peswes.(ca. 2,80 kr.) Umm!

Herhjemme havde de åbnet min gave(en masse danske madvarer, makrel, slik, honning, syltetøj, øl, hyldeblomst saft) de var vilde med den og synes det var spændende, de forstod ikke helt det med makrellen (her propper man fisk i supper og saucer, man spiser det ikke på brød) og de brød sig ikke om lakridsbolcherne, men de prøvede meget af det, håber jeg får lov at få noget af honningen, savner noget pålæg på min franskbrødsmad om morgenen!!J

 

Har lært et nyt twi ord i dag! “tenasi” betyder “sæt dig ned”.

Min liste er blevet ret lang efterhånden!:

Akwaaba - velkommen

Medase - tak

Maache - godmorgen

Maaha - godeftermiddag

Maadju - godaften (man svarer altid med yenia)

Tenasi - sæt dig

Wo ho te sen - hvordan har du det, man svarer med (Me ho ye)

Har også lært forkortelsen: Eh te sen, og man svarer med Æye.

Eyesen - hvad koster det?

Daabe - nej

Me piee - Jeg går ud

Men piee - du skal ikke gå ud

Men ye - stop med det

Jai - stop det

Adum - lyset går ud( ja det sker altså nogle gange hernede :p)

Men su - du skal ikke græde

Men kasa - du skal ikke tale

Ye - gør det

Bra - kom her

Kom de me - jeg er sulten

Kom ende me - jeg er ikke sulten

Wo gui mi - du er en idiot

Ente sa - ikke sådan der

 

Der er sikkert nogle flere, men dem husker jeg altså ikke lige nuJ men føler mig ret god allerede!! Har været her i 10 dage.

 

Hmm synes der var noget jeg ville fortælle.. Kan ikke huske det.

JO jeg talte faktisk med en af mødrene i dag! På børnehjemmet, viste hende billeder hjemmefra og hun var meeeeget interesseret! Vi fik en god lang snak om den danske kultur, om min familie, venner osv.J De tror alle sammen jeg er forlovet fordi jeg har taget en fake vielsesring på, så jeg måtte lige stikke hende en lille løgn i dag da hun så billederneJ

Skriver en blog mere efter weekenden!

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Torsdag den 25.08.11 kl. 20.34http://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/cbak/read/132327/torsdag-den-250811-kl-2034
Torsdag den 25.08.11 kl. 20.34
 

I can...   (published in Ghana)

August 31, 2011 by   Comments(0)

I could tell you of how, after all my efforts regarding conservative dress, the front breast button on my shirt kept popping open during my induction.

I could tell you of the difficulty of dental hygiene when mouth-friendly water comes in packets.

I could tell you of the blister that can be seen through two plasters.

I could tell you of being hissed at by a man in the street. 

I could tell you of the frustration of having to walk to a tank to get water for a bucket shower when a ten-minute walk at 4pm has made one sweat and smell.

I could tell you of prayer camps where mentally ill people are taken for healing, and those that can be harmful are chained.

I could tell you of watching one young boy furiously stir, as another fervently fans off the flies.

I could tell you of stepping out my door, and knowing that everyone who sees me knows I do not belong.

I could but...

I can also tell you of the sweet, warm taste of grilled plantain, the relief when a bucket of water finally cascades down over one, the loll of the words "shifting paradigm" from a Ghanaian tongue, and how the sight of a woman lifting the basket to balance on the material donut on her friend's head says friendship better than "BFFE!"

I can tell you of such a basket, lined with live chickens that quite happily clucked away on their unusual perch, a baby black goat strolling the street like in an Enid Blyton nursery rhyme, the sublime justice of sweet and sour a pineapple hacked up and tossed in a plastic bag for serving spreads, and the strain of music that clips in through the window of the tro...reminding me of some film somewhere - making my surroundings a film for me to see.

I can tell you of the foreign experience - of walking down the street at night...safe.

I can tell you of the dresses...and the wry experience of seeing such an elegant woman spit.

I can tell you of this moment...when I sit listening to Ghanaian rap, my roommate and I on computers in the internet cafe in our street - the house with the orange stoep. There are two men and two of us. And we're safe - the most foreign experience so far. 

That's all.

(0 from 0 votes)
 
I can...http://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/ncornell/read/132110/i-can
I can...
 

Time is ticking away at top speed!   (published in Ghana)

August 30, 2011 by   Comments(0)

Visa arriving on Wednesday!

33 days to go

24 days at work

lots to do.....

excitement and trepidation mounting!!!!!!!!!

 

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Time is ticking away at top speed!http://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/jfrith/read/131782/time-is-ticking-away-at-top-speed
Time is ticking away at top speed!
 

Undskyyyyld :p   (published in Ghana)

August 29, 2011 by   Comments(0)

Jeg glemte selvfoelgelig at laegge min tre sider lange blog over paa et usb stick -.-

I faar kun billeder idag.. saa kommer bloggen imorgen eller onsdag :)

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Undskyyyyld :phttp://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/cbak/read/131273/undskyyyyld-p
Undskyyyyld :p
 

New Volunteer to Ghana   (published in Ghana)

August 28, 2011 by   Comments(0)

Hi, I am coming to Ho, Volta Region of Ghana in a few weeks time. I am a registered nurse/midwife. I am interested to know what it is like there both living and volunteering. I have read Dr Dale's blogs which sound very interesting, not sure were he is located though.?

Cheers Gabrielle

 

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New Volunteer to Ghanahttp://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/gransley/read/130793/new-volunteer-to-ghana
New Volunteer to Ghana
 

"It's a beautiful day to save lives, people. Let's have some fun!"   (published in Ghana)

August 27, 2011 by   Comments(0)

,

26th August:


Friday turned out to be a day of exceptionally lucky (but good) timing on my part. After waking up hungover, in excruciating pain due to my wisdom tooth, and late, I made it to work to start my first day on the children’s ward. Ward rounds had already started by the time I arrived, however, I got the gist of the severity and diversity of the medical problems I was seeing. This, however, was promptly followed by the in-charge telling me that there wasn’t going to be much to do due to it being a quiet day, so I went and found Louise and discussed the possibility of going home early.


It was then that I heard the babies on maternity ward being bathed for the first time and I can only describe it as heart wrenching – I say ‘heard’ because they weren’t in my line of sight but boy did they scream as they were put into freezing cold buckets of water! Just as Louise and I were emotionally giving up on the day our exceptional timing came into play... we had decided to give it till half ten at which time we’d go home, but at 10.15 a surgeon with a trolley passed through. The nurse in-charge of maternity told us to follow him and help so we jumped up and through to labour ward we went.


Here we were greeted with a naked, heavily pregnant woman who was being collected to take to surgery. We assisted in getting her onto the trolley, covered her with a blanket and followed both her and the surgeon to the make-shift operating theatre (in use due to the main theatre’s current refurbishment). Louise and I then hung around long enough to be handed a pair of scrubs, a scrub cap and theatre shoes each, and were told to change and wait. For the Grey’s Anatomy fans amongst us, my navy blue scrubs coupled with my stubble gave me a Derek-Shepherd-like appearance, however, the surgery I was about to observe was definitely more in Addison Montgomery’s field of expertise – a caesarean section.


The surgeon got started and we were allowed to join just in time to see the uterus extracted from the abdominal cavity. As the uterus was incised, life was born... I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it! The baby, however, was weak and had to be rushed off to be resuscitated – it survived, don’t worry! – but no one else seemed bothered about the baby because the mother’s placenta had just haemorrhaged causing panic! As her blood pressure plummeted we found ourselves standing in her blood as it leaked off the table onto the floor; clamps were flying, blood was called for STAT and the surgeon’s hands went into overdrive. The make-shift theatre was far too small which meant that this unexpected complication wasn’t well prepared for and people were treading on toes... the lights even went out at one point, however, the surgeon still managed to stabilise the mother before beginning to close! Louise quickly pointed out the ovaries and the fallopian tubes to me, just before the uterus was sewn up (in a way that even I could tell wasn’t well done – Louise described it as “butchered”); in fact the only careful attention that was paid in the closing process was in the sewing of the outer most layer of the skin.


The mother was then taken to rest for two hours in which time she wouldn’t have been allowed to see her child, having also not seen it in the theatre as it was rushed from her uterus to be resuscitated. She also had to (rather unprofessionally) lie in the theatre room whilst they began cleaning it because they couldn’t spare a member of staff to take her back to her bed... this was explained to us afterwards as “just the way things are done here”, which I can safely say has off put me from ever wanting to be a surgeon in Ghana!

 

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"It's a beautiful day to save lives, people. Let's have some fun!"http://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/dsalter/read/130711/its-a-beautiful-day-to-save-lives-people-lets-have-some-fun
"It's a beautiful day to save lives, people. Let's have some fun!"
 

Medical Outreach   (published in Ghana)

August 27, 2011 by   Comments(0)

, ,

23rd and 25th August:


Tuesday was my first day on medical outreach, the basic idea of which is to go to communities and orphanages in the local area and provide basic medical assistance where required. However, before I’d even left the house that morning I was experiencing absolute agony in the form of one of my wisdom teeth forcing their way into my already overpopulated jaw. As I write this blog, nearly five days later, I’m still experiencing pain and usually have to take painkillers an hour before dinner so I can last the meal!


Pain aside though, I still met Mary-Rose, Tyra, Lisa, Louise and the Projects Abroad (PA) Medical Coordinator, Richard, at the post office at 8.30 and we took three tros to Bentem Village in Kasua. This was the first time PA had been to this village and so the day was a long one, but the adorable kids made it worthwhile. They did, however, come in their thousands – okay so maybe not, but there was a lot of them – and they ranged anywhere from about 3 to 14 years old. It was at this moment that I realised that the excitement of our arrival had spread like wildfire, creating the typical “African-children-excitedly-surrounding/swamping-a-white-person” image that is so commonly seen on television – naturally I got a photo! The kids loved the cameras and insisted on both having their photo taken as well as taking pictures of each other and the sight of themselves on the digital display was enough to make every single one of them burst into genuinely elated laughter!


We proceeded to set up a sterilised area for the treatment of approximately 50 kids; each child had their head checked for cuts and ringworm, followed by an inspection of the arms and legs for infected cuts and bites, with penicillin cream and poviodine solution being used as the only forms of treatment after an initial cotton-wool ball, saline wash. One of the mothers was also treated for a fungal infection of the arm, whilst a talk was given on HIV/AIDS to the older teens and the adults. There were lots of misconceptions on the appearance of a person with HIV/AIDS and their quality of life, as well as the general idea that “praying can cure HIV”, however, on the whole (given this was their first talk on the topic) the majority of their knowledge on methods of transmission was accurate – not having more than one sexual partner, not using needles etc.. Richard said that “small communities [like this one] don’t have a lot to do and so they get bored easily and ‘play in the dark’ from a younger age”, hence their increased susceptibility to STDs and the reason for our visit.

 

Whilst waiting for the tro back home the children sat with us, writing their names into the back of my notepad, and upon our departure we promised them we would come back again two days later, on the Thursday, with gifts. On the journey home I got to experience my first Fan Ice, which was DELICIOUS! It’s basically liquid ice cream and is a favourite of Reid’s, who has described it as “paradise in a bag”. Being a Tuesday, it was then time for quiz night... Ed had written out the questions for us to ask but as a group we deemed them too hard! Ed convinced us otherwise, saying that he would take any blame if he was wrong, however, last minute he ditched us to go watch the football, leaving Charlotte, Vicky, Reid and I to look like (ridiculously well cultured) mugs – next morning at breakfast there were definite evil glares across the bread and butter!


Thursday’s outreach was exceptionally similar – hence the one blog – except for the addition of (the other) Lisa and Angelique. We also arrived to fewer children and it was explained to us that most of them were out helping on the enormous pineapple plantation... word soon got out though and they flooded back. On the whole the wounds were a lot worse than on Tuesday but Richard had told them to bathe before our arrival so it was generally easier to treat them; those that had bathed got a cookie, which caused chaos to ensue with many children queuing up twice or stealing cookies from others! This was followed by more chaos in the form of footballs which Tyra had brought along... kids were being knocked over and pushed, whilst parents were shouting, so the balls were taken away and distributed in a more controlled manner, which led to a fun game of football.


I became particularly attached to a little guy who was being bullied by an older boy, who on several occasions was seen pushing ‘my’ guy over and walking away smirking. ‘My’ guy was sporting a fancy gold and black felt jacket and shoes that were miles to big for him, which when coupled with his huge tear-filled eyes, made for an adorable picture of the two of us... but ten minutes later when I put him down he ran off to get a rock which he promptly threw at the kid that had been bullying him... karma?


Home time brought with it more tros (one of which broke down), another Fan Ice (a post-outreach tradition now) and another evening at Ryan’s (the Irish bar), where all the volunteers chatted about the week’s placement experiences, whilst enjoying happy hour (Savanna cider = 2 Cedis 50 = £1.25). Ryan’s was followed by “Containers”, which I could only describe as a patio in front of an off-licence, where more alcohol was consumed and drunken dancing with the locals began. Richard kept feeding Reid, Ed and I Jack Daniels, which had disastrous effects on both Reid and Ed, and caused us all to suffer the next day.


As a side note, before Ryan’s, I’d reached the now all too familiar three-time weekly need to shave... I don’t know what it is out here – maybe the heat – but it just seems necessary to do it so much given the rate at which it grows! I’m not going to lie but I’ve actually become a bit of a pro at the “without-mirror” method in which I use the reflective surface of the glossed tiles in the bathroom... eurgh, I miss home!

 

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Medical Outreachhttp://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/dsalter/read/130706/medical-outreach
Medical Outreach
 

Dr. Dale Salter   (published in Ghana)

August 27, 2011 by   Comments(0)

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22nd and 24th August:


This week’s blogs are being split into hospital and medical outreach. Firstly, Monday and Wednesday at the hospital…


Monday was my last day on the male ward, which was a sad thing because it’s been confirmed by pretty much every other volunteer that I’ve met that it’s the best ward at the hospital! After a very slow start I met up with Louise again; we discussed the lack of patients so went for a wander before heading back to our respective wards for ward rounds, where I was joined by another Ghanaian medical student, third year Felix, who kindly took it upon himself to teach me how to take vitals (blood pressure, pulse and respiration). The only other noteworthy thing that I witnessed was the procedure of nasogasteric intubation, in which a long plastic tube is fed through the nose (“naso”), past the throat, down the oesophagus into the stomach (“gastric”). The first attempt failed... the patient was not relaxed (as I’m sure no one would be with a relatively large tube up your nose!) and so resisted it and vomited. Attempt two was successful and once the tube reached the post-operative obstruction (caused by adhesions) a vast quantity of discoloured fluid filled the tube and the attached bag.

 

Another high ranking member of the police force was also present at the hospital on Monday. Whilst visiting male ward he decided to discharge the man with sickle cell and the severe leg infection (which although better, was by no means ‘healed’) purely due to his concern for the lack of free beds... the discharged man was told to visit his local clinic for any necessary follow up, which in my opinion was not a suitable solution given the still quite poor condition of the leg. The “Chief Constable” then proceeded to destroy Felix’s confidence by putting him on the spot with a tough question: “why would this man’s groin hurt given the infection is in the leg?” – Felix didn’t know and so was told the answer in a very “matter-of-fact / why-don’t-you-know-this” way (N.B. the answer was because the man’s infection had become septic, resulting in it spreading to the lymphatic system, which has lymph nodes in the groin... there was also something about acute cirrhosis of the liver too... simples! Right?).


Kwame, one of the surgeons at the hospital, then dropped in for a visit and explained to us that a newborn baby had just lost its mother due to a DNT (similar to a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) but the “T” stands for transfuse – I don’t know if we have those back home or not). This led to a very heated discussion on ethics and the implications and consequences of breaking a DNR/DNT – Kwame believed it to be the patient’s decision and right to choose, whilst the second i/c police nurse believed leaving the baby without a mother was WORSE than breaking the law! This nicely finished off my day at work, which then led into an afternoon and evening of reading, dinner, the very depressing “Charlie Wilson’s War” and the slightly lighter “The Big Bang Theory”.


Skipping Tuesday’s outreach, we have Wednesday: my first sick day. Nothing major but definitely not well enough for sick children on paediatrics. The evening brought with it a healthier, well-rested Dale and so the housemates and I popped round the corner to watch the football at the comically named “Touch Me”, which prompted such ‘hilarious’ questions as: “are you going to Touch Me tonight?”. Charlotte, Vanessa, Ed and I then decided to get a cab down to the beach to experience reggae night. The cab there was definitely the worst I’ve been in: the undercarriage of the car scraped the floor the entire way to the beach and the frequent potholes produced almighty crunches as the lower-than-usual body of the car was forced against the stony road. Reggae night itself was, as would be expected, full of friendly Rastafarians, all of whom wanted to sell you weed and become your friend; on the whole though the music, the atmosphere, good popcorn and an exceptional child acrobat (who contorted himself in a way that my “huge muscles” won’t allow for) made for an entertaining evening.

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Dr. Dale Salterhttp://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/dsalter/read/130693/dr-dale-salter
Dr. Dale Salter