Hello everyone! And Akwaaba (welcome) to my blog... I've never done a blog before so I'm learning as I go.
Anyway, onto Ghana. The woman I was sitting next to on the plane was Ghanaian but now resides in Amsterdam (and is a nurse!) and we chatted for a bit. Until I noticed her pull out a few "Watchtower" magazines, at which point I promptly put my headphones on to watch a movie. Poor man on the other side of her, she read to him from the bible and those magazines for the entire 6 hours and 40 minutes. Good on him if he is into that stuff, but even if he is I don't think anyone wants their ear talked off for more than 15 minutes by a stranger. Not me at least.
I arrived at the airport and waited, and waited, and waited... in line for customs. Welcome to Ghana, things move at a much slower pace here than I am used to. Stephanie picked me up at the airport, and I couldn't have been happier to see a familiar face after almost 24 hours of traveling. We got to the apartment where I met Pat and Heather, the two other SickKids nurses currently living and working here. They have been doing lectures for the Ghanaian nursing students for the past 6 weeks and now I am here as the first clinical instructor for the students' in-hospital rotation.
The apartment/hotel is fantastic. Living room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, air conditioning, hot water, and flush toilets. What more could a girl want! It's very clean and the compound seems safe and has 24 hour security (just for you, Dad!).
Today, the 4 of us took a day trip to Kakum National Park, where we walked along several suspension bridges roped between trees, about 40 metres up in the air. We were told there were forest elephants, badgers, monkeys, etc. in the area but poaching in the past has caused the animals to take off as soon as they hear anyone coming near. We were then certain we weren't going to see any sort of animal with the loud and obnoxious chinese tour group ahead of us. Jet-lagged me forgot my camera today, so please enjoy these photos courtesy of Google.
I have been to two hospitals, and spent one day in a malnutrition day clinic where the children are fed and monitored. It was a sad and happy place at the same time. I felt happy for the children that they were getting the food they needed, but sad that they were in this situation in the first place. Their parents seemed well-dressed and a lot of the mothers worked as well as the fathers, but the main barrier was education. Something we take for granted, knowing that vegetables/fruit/protein/dairy/grains are necessary for life, they may not have ever been taught. Some of these children were only breastfed for 2 months and then given only bread, water, and sugary foods. I can't stop thinking about those poor kids with their scrawny arms and legs.