June 22nd, 2015
Last Friday I arrived in Ghana with five of my soon-to-be best friends. With this journey ahead, I wasn't sure how to feel- excited, nervous, scared? As I've experienced different parts of Ghana I have come to love all of it within a few days- the people, the culture, the way of life.
Our first full day was spent at our professor, Dr. Anderson's, 25th highschool reunion. Our day was filled with laughter, new foods, big smiles, and many speeches. After a long day of celebrating with Dr. Anderson's highschool class, we went to the Accra mall to buy our wifi modem and some celebratory ice cream from the Creamy Inn. The next day, Sunday, we experienced our first Ghanaian church service- now that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The church service was an unexpected three hours long, but I loved watching the people worship so genuinely and devoutly. After the church service we decided to take a walk through Mampong, the town we're currently staying in. Walking through the town was the most enjoyable experience thus far because I got to see the different parts of Ghana I had yet to see. I loved seeing people's homes hidden behind the vendors huts, each house unique from the other. Some houses had chickens and dogs running around in the front, while some had children playing tag with each other. On our walk through the town, I enjoyed attempting to speak Twi (the language of this area), with some people responding with kind laughter at my attempt or some responding with bright smiles. One of the most beautiful parts of this country is the diversity in the people- their culture, their clothing, and their smiles. Some smile brightly and wave hello, while some will shyly nod hello. Some are wrapped in beautiful, hand-sewn, patterned dresses, while some dress in an old tshirt and jeans. Some children jump for joy at the sight of an oburoni (that means "white person"), while some hide in their mothers' skirts. Some sell food and clothing from baskets on their heads in the middle of busy roads (which is called "hawking"), while some sit patiently at a venders booth waiting for someone to approach.
Our study abroad adventure has only just begun. We have spent this first week traveling/exploring the country before we begin our medical approach to promote health in the area. Next week we will begin working at our first clinics taking blood pressure, blood glucose, BMI, lipid panels, and iron levels. As much as I have loved traveling and sightseeing throughout Ghana, I am beyond excited to begin doing what I love in a country that I've already begun to fall in love with. I know that this adventure in Ghana will only encourage me to continue pursuing my passion to promote health in developing areas.
I have only experienced a little piece of Ghana, but I have already fallen in love with the people and the culture.
There will be more to write soon about our study abroad experience, so goodbye for now.
Nante Yie! (Goodbye in Twi)
How the end of our time at Ridge and this program helped me narrow my focus
Finding the light in situations where the resources are limited.
A story about how my first OR experience changed the trajectory of my future
How I was able to see myself in the hospital setting.
How coming all the way to Ghana showed me where my passion is