Ghana Team Journal

Friday May 30, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

by Richard

Today drew to a close the last volunteer day of the second week we have in Ghana. We will be saying farewell to several of our teammates this weekend but will forever hold our memories together close to our heart.

The day started at 7:00 with a great breakfast and the excitement of what was sure to be a great day of volunteering and sport. By 8:00 the teachers had headed off to their respective classes while the rest of the group took a break from assisting in the clinics to lend some helping hands at the construction site.

The construction of the new school school had progressed quite impressively from where it was when we arrived a couple weeks ago. With about a dozen volunteers working we made another sizeable dent in the pile of blocks and could appreciate the buildings beginning to take shape.

By noon the construction workers and teachers conversed on the futbol field to take on one of the local school teams. A huge turnout of younger school children were on hand to watch the match and cheer us all on. While our team came up short in goals we put up a valiant effort and had a lot of fun entertaining the crowd!

We retreated to the comforts of the guest house just in time for a festive lunch of red red, fried plantains, and plenty of cold water. At 3:00 part of the group headed back to Senchi Ferry to visit the homes of some school children while the rest of the group was in the middle of an extended nap or otherwise recouperating from the long day outdoors. We were all back together at 7:00 for one last dinner. Afterwards, we gathered together in the commons and viewed a beautiful slide show summary of the previous two weeks followed by free-time and relaxation.

“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just” Abraham Lincoln

Thursday May 29, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

by Cris

It was another great day in Ghana. The heavy rains from last night made today cooler than usual. After breakfast, the medical team split up. The group at Senchi Clinic screened the blood pressure of upwards of 200 patients. At the Senchi Ferry Clinic, the goug-goug didn’t begin until 10 AM so we were able to see Madame Grace in action.

We screened 50 patients for blood pressure. The afternoon was spent at the river. Four people went rowing and the rest of played volleyball. I’m pretty sure the Med students are the reigning champs. Finally we got jello at dinner, which was an awesome treat.

“What is to give light must endure burning” Viktor Frank.

Wednesday May 28 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

by Jennifer

The day started early for three of the medical students with the promise of a digit excision surgery. Unfortunately the patient never showed up. For the rest of the group, it was another day of rewarding volunteer work. The medical students went to the three clinics and did a range of activities from home visits, to school screenings, to diagnosing cases at Senchi Ferry. The teachers and construction workers did another hard days work on the new preschool. Luckily, today was cooler with the cloud cover, which hopefully helped them progress further on the project.

The afternoon began with another delicious meal of yams and beef stew which appears to be everyone’s favorite. After lunch we were invited to meet the District Mayor at his office neat the Atimpoku bridge. His role seems to be similar to a governors in the US and we were lucky to get the chance to meet him. We got a chance to learn more about the history of the people in this region as well the progress the community has already made and plans to make rise our of the poverty left behind when the terries were stopped due to the constructions of the Atimpotiu Bridge.

The day ended with more relaxing back at St. James and another wonderful dinner that included fried chicken, french fries, and salad.

“We are one man, one destiny” District Mayor

Tuesday May 27, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

by Caitlin

After an exciting and fun filled three day weekend it was time to get back to work. Many of us helped in cojavascript:void(0)
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In the afternoon all of got to watch the cooks put on a food demonstration. They prepared a Ghanian favorite, fufu. It was interesting to watch the cooks prepare our meal without the appliances we have become accustomed to in the States. The rest of the afternoon was lazy and enjoyable and all of us are looking forwards to the rest of time we have in Ghana

“Be the change you want to see in the world” Ghandi.

Monday May 26, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

by Amy

Today we finally got to sleep in a little bit…and by sleep in I mean breakfast was at eight. After breakfast we packed into a van and made the two hour trek to the waterfall. The walk to the waterfall was a path through the woods and contained many wooden bridges. When we finally got to the waterfall, the party began. After a few people jumped in the water, most of us followed. It was an amazing experience and definitely a favorite moment of the trip thus far.

After the walk back down there was shopping and lunch in the village there. We then piled back in to the vans and Namrita wisened up and sat in the front of the van and we all drove to the monkey sanctuary. There many of us were able to feed the few monkeys we saw with bananas. After the drive home, we ate dinner and crashed.

“I like your shirt”

Sunday May 25, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

by Jaylee

Today was yet another exciting day in Ghana. After a late night with our friends from the pool, we said goodbye and headed to the Canopy Walk.

The bridges were about 40 meters high and we could see the tops of trees. Everyone loved the view but I only saw the back of Amy’s head since I was so terrified. A few of us ate at the Rainforest Café. The rest of the group went on a nature walk and admired different types of trees.

The ride home was really smooth and relaxing and there was not one single pot hole. NOT! But we did get home safe and sound in time for yet another delicious meal from Monica.

“Every passing moment is another chance to turn it all around”

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

by Namrita

Today was a very exciting and fun-filled day. We took a break from teaching, construction, and working in the clinic to travel to Cape Coast. Our drive there took about four hours. As we approached our hotel we drove to the city of El Mina, which was beautiful. The view of the beaches and ocean was amazing and palm trees lined both sides of the road. Our hotel was just as nice; we had a wonderful view of the pool and bar as well as the Atlantic Ocean.

After checking into the hotel we went to lunch at the Coconut Grove Resort. Our lunch was served to us in a Gazebo located just a few meters from the beach. After we ordered drinks, we frolicked on the beaches and took lots of pictures of our beautiful selves!

Once we ate lunch we went to one of the biggest slave castles. This was a castle owned by European Settlers where slaves were held until they were shipped to the west. It was a very beautiful castle with a very sad history.

After visiting the castle we drove through the city to get cash. Next we went back to the hotel and made some new friends at the swimming pool in the hotel.

“Happiness is a by product of living a good life.”

Friday, May 23, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

by Jordan

An early wake-up call and three delicious meals later, our sixth day in Ghana has come to an end. While the Creighton medical students have paired off to maximize the number of people they can treat, and Colin and Eric have begun a large scale construction project, the rest have remained with their classroom assignments. Fortunately, the work we do continues to fulfill us and sustain us through the heat and humidity.

Returning to St. James after the long morning’s work, a handful of us returned to Sajuna Beach Club. We played volleyball and my team crushed the Blue Jays and Alyssa - when losers write history they become winners - swam in both the splash pool, sunbathed on the trampoline and played soccer. And before we knew it, the sun had begun to set, beckoning us home.

Finally, we celebrated our respective success with a delicious dinner. Tomorrow, we are traveling to Cape Coast to see the slave castles and do the canopy walk. I am certain it will be a picturesque location and a memorable weekend trip.

“You can stand under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh…”- Rihanna

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

by Colin

Today was my last day in the classroom. I am sad to be done in the school but I am also very anxious to start help building the new preschool. As a group we went to a nearby market and looked around at all the cool stuff. We also stopped at The Adomi Bridge and looked out at the beautiful view along the Volta River. At lunch today we all tasted palmwine and by the taste of it, it seems like things might get a little rowdy if we drink one too many glasses. In the end, this first week has been a great experience and I’m excited for the week to come.

“Life’s a garden. Dig it!”

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

by Eric

Today I taught English Composition to the students at the Methodist school in Senchi Ferry. Their eagerness and intelligence in the classroom is impressive. During recess I sat on the steps of the unfinished chapel and talked to the students who of course called me “obroni” and taught me new words in Twi. Today on the walk back from the school I tried some of Ghana “Fanmilk”- their ice cream- it was pretty tasty. We visited the Volta Hotel and stayed all evening looking out at its amazing views.

“When in Ghana, do as the Ghanians do”- Eric

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

by Alyssa

Yet again, the day was incredibly amazing and memorable. After walking to Senchi Ferry, we parted ways and went our respected assignments. Walking into a classroom full of smiling kids running towards you screaming, “obroni” is probably the best feeling in the world.

The medical students made house visits today and I was even told Cris touched a women’s bone due to a wound she incurred. After the walk back we had a great meal once again and went to the Cedi Bead Factory.

It is incredible to see how much work goes into making hand made beads. I couldn’t believe the man sitting directly in front of the fire was wearing long pants and a zip up long sleeve jacket. The beads were incredible and we all took advantage of the show room. Dinner was fantastic as usual. I think we are all having a good time.

“My candle burns at both ends. It will not last the night; But ah; my foes and oh my friends- It gives a lovely light” Edna St. Vincent Millay

Monday May 19, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

by Maryal
Monday was our first full day in Senchi Ferry. We started the day by waking up to new sounds like roosters crowing and bullfrogs croaking. Breakfast was delicious; we had onion and tomato omlettes, toast and juice. Due to the crazy thunderstorm yesterday evening, we had to take a different route into town. The route we took yesterday was super muddy and we had to walk along part of the road Ben drove us home on last night.

What was amazing was that the road into town, though paved only has enough room for one car. It’s a miracle Ben got us all home safely yesterday – much thanks to him! We walked deeper into town than we had ever before and passed schools that were in session with children and their matrons singing and saying prayers. Our first stop was at the preschool that will hopefully have all of its walls erected by the time we leave. Next door to the preschool foundation was the current preschool, where the current building was covered in a tin roof, which leaks when it rains and causes school to be cancelled.

Hopefully we’ll make lots of progress on the new building for them. Next, we stopped by the clinic where the med group separated from the rest of the group who went to experience teaching in Ghana for the first time! In the clinic, Madame Grace had us sit down in the waiting room with the patients and we watched her take the blood pressure of her first patient of the day. Later, we separated and some observed Madame Grace interviewing and dispensing drugs. Others were set up at the makeshift pharmacy, which consisted of a table in behind the clinic under a tree, and spoon-filled medicine bags with vitamin C pills, Vitamin B pills, iron pills and an aspirin equivalent. Some of us helped cut gauze and make homemade cotton balls out of sheets of cotton. Two of us went out into the community to make home visits and saw a lot of health issues that will be addressed in the clinic later on. Afterwards, we headed back to our rooms.

On the way, we picked up the part of the group that had done teaching during the day. Jordan and Ida were playing a game where they were pulling disco moves to make the children they erre working with laugh. After we got back to our rooms, we had time to fit in a much needed 30 minute nap before lunch which was bean stew and fried plantains. Afterwards, we headed out to the Senchi Waterfront resort to chill on the banks of the Volta River and eat and enjoy Ghanian drinks such as Stone Beer, Club Beer, Sprite, and of course my favorite Malta! After seeing two boys fishing for tilapia, and hanging with the peacocks, we headed over to the Sajuris Beach Club Resort.

Located next to a mud constructed home, this brand new resort demonstrated the vivid difference between areas that have a lot of money and those that don’t. We played on the trampoline here, played ping pong, and swung on the swings before heading back for our dinner of french fries, friend chicken and salad. Ben finished up the night with a lesson on Twi – something that will help us out greatly tomorrow, granted we can recall the lesson…

Sunday May 18th, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

by Tara
Today was everyone’s 2nd day in Ghana and everything is going well! Everyone seems to be getting along smoothly, which is important because we’re stuck with each other for at least 2 weeks.

Overall, I’m enjoying my experience. The weather is a bit hotter than I expected. But, on the plus side, where we are staying and the food is a lot better than anticipated. I can’t wait to start teaching and I’m excited for the days to come!