15 Jul Learning about Global Health in Ghana
Posted at 10:20h in West AfricaJuly 1st was Republic Day here in Ghana. Having landed on a Sunday, the following Monday was devoted to taking work off, sharing drinks and laughter with friends, and enjoying the somewhat cool breeze of the coming rainy season. For Operation Groundswell trip leaders, however, the celebration seemed to center around the arrival of our new group of backpackers. Three participants arrived early and got a head start acquainting themselves with our neighborhood in Osu. Last night, the rest of the group arrived at the airport – some having never left Canada, others arriving from a few weeks of backpacking around Europe, and others ready for a break from their summer classes at university. It took no more than five minutes for the empty room in Mama’s house to turn into an all out party – people sharing stories and backgrounds, laughing and feeding off of each others’ excitement. Some well-deserved nicknames have already been doled out, the most notable being “Flintstone.” This particular backpacker came crashing to the ground after the wooden bed frame collapsed underneath him. Laughter ensued (no backpackers were injured in the making of this nickname) and we decided that “Flintstone” was appropriate, as he certainly makes the bed rock… We will spend one more day in Accra to have some dinner and get acclimatized to local life with the help of our two close friends Gabi and Pablo. Pablo has recently finished his medical residency and is now completing rounds as a surgeon in a nearby hospital. He will give us a brief overview of the medical education system, the healthcare system, and what it is like to be a medical student in Ghana. Gabi will follow up with his experience working in both Accra and Sandema (our final destination before Independent Travel Time), giving the participants a comparison of culture and practice in the urban centers and more rural villages. Not long after, we will be waking up early and boarding a tro-tro to the Wli Falls, our orientation spot-of-choice thanks to its natural beauty, physical challenge, and serene landscape.