akwaaba (welcome)

1 Jul

We left the guest house in Accra this morning at 4am for the airport with our driver, Solomon (so incredibly nice and helpful!).  We arrived when it was still dark and a friendly Ghanian helped us with our bags, then managed to squeeze a $20 tip out of Adam, which was absolutely hilarious as he sorted through the bills in Adam’s hands and picked out what he wanted.  The plane was full and hot, but the ride was smooth.  The view of northern Ghana from the plane was amazing – you could see the savannah landscape with scattered crops of huts with thatch roofs.

After landing, we gathered up our luggage and met Issahaku, our driver, who brought us the rest of the way up to the BMC.  The drive took about 2.5 hours, mostly over asphalt roads with about 1/3 on bumpy dirt road.  It was a lovely drive with tons of green trees, rolling hills and plenty of smiling and waving kids along the way.  Most of the people here live in thatched huts built in groups with a central clearing for cooking.  It’s amazing how difficult daily life is here – washing clothes in the river, cooking over an open fire, building homes from mud and trees, working in the field to feed your family.  And yet, life moves very slowly at the same time.  The poverty level is clear here, but the community is friendly and hospitable.

After arriving at the BMC, we met several guests and full time workers who gave us a tour and had lunch with us (traditional Ghanian food with chicken and potatoes in a spicy sauce).  During our tour of the peds ward, the nurse asked us to see the 3 new admissions for the day.  We realized our need to read up on malaria (and other tropical diseases) as we knew nothing about how to manage the new patients, and had to ask a lot of questions.

In the midst of feeling very inadequate, however, we went to watch a c-section, and had the opportunity to use our skills as pediatricians, stepping in to help resuscitate the newborn baby (in other words, we gave her a little help to breathe, with a bag/mask and some positive pressure).  God definitely blessed us with this experience to remind us that we’re here for reason and have a lot to contribute, even if we are incredibly inexperienced with the diseases we’ll see.  By the end of the day, we realized that we do know general pediatrics, which they need just as much as quinine and fansidar for malaria treatment… we just have some reading to do.

The boys had the opportunity to play soccer with the kids around the BMC (a few missionary kids + many Ghanian kids) in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, the World Cup repeated itself, and the Americans lost to the Ghanians.  But all was well, as the boys thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity, and the kids were thrilled.

Tomorrow will be the first day of true rounding on patients… pray for us!

– Rachel & Courtney

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: