West Africa

Food is a huge contributor to the wonderful cultures in both Ghana and Togo. It is rare to see a local with leftovers at the end of a meal. In certain circumstances it may even be considered rude to leave a significant amount of uneaten...

Greetings from Ghana! Yefrɛ me Nicole (Twi for, "My name is Nicole")! I am a public health and safety student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and am hoping to pursue a career in global health or epidemiology....

"It's a great day to have a great day." We were all mentally preparing ourselves for this 6-8 hour hike in the scorching heat, but what we weren't mentally prepared for was hiking that in the middle of a thunderstorm. ...

They say what you do in life isn't nearly as important as who you do it with, and this trip was a perfect example of that....

Waves crash on the sandy shores and the air has a familiar whiff of salt and suntan lotion. This is where our week began....

When we got to Wli, we stared up at the mountain we would climb the next day, wondering what to expect from the luscious green expanses....

Ghana is where you live what you believe. It is loving your neighbor and loving the world at the same time. And in order to connect with others, we have to let people matter, to allow them as individuals to be as important as humanity...

Written by Sarindi Aryasinghe and Kali Burnell, 2014 West Africa: Global Health Program Leaders. During our stay in Accra, we were staying with Mama Tina and her family by Danquah Circle, Osu. Everyone was more than happy about the running shower, the close Internet cafés, and the busy local vibe. Our adventure started with a visit to Korle Bu, the largest teaching hospital in West Africa. It was a life-changing visit as we witnessed the lack of supplies and the number of emergencies.
Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
After our tour, we attended a meeting with the National AIDS Control Program, where we learned about all the preventative measures being taken as well as in-country progress. Our night ended with a food hunt, where we tried for the first time some of the local dishes: fufu, banku, rice balls, and waakye. We ate traditionally around a table and ate with our right hands.

Written by Sarindi Aryasinghe and Kali Burnell, 2014 West Africa: Global Health Program Leaders. We spent our first few days in Ghana in a small village in the Volta Region called Wli. It was at this endearing and welcoming place where we opened ourselves to each other as we were experiencing similar physical and mental challenges. Some of us played competitive sports, trained daily, and were extremely fit, while some of us haven't jogged in years. Regardless, we all hiked up the tallest waterfall in West Africa together and through the sweat, pain, and bug bites, we encouraged each other and supported one another from start to end. By the end of the hike, we were no longer a group of strangers, but 13 girls who had each others' backs.