Saturday, May 3, 2008

Church in the Bush

I must acknowledge, I did not take this video, nor was I even present. My roommate took the video, so I thank her. I only learned how to use my video camera on my digital camera during Damba. BUT this captures what church was like under a tree. This one is larger than the three services I attended with Tommy.

Another thing I love in the video is seeing a guy on his cell phone. Cell phones are HUGE in Ghana, mainly because they are a novelty. Within only the last 2 or so years, you could only make land line phone calls, which were very sporadic, horrible connections. So when cell phone towers started going up, it was a much better connection. It's gone on like wildfire, and because it's so new there is absolutely no manners regarding answering cell phones.

This circle singing/dancing can go on for hours before you get to the sermon. What was nice is either Tommy or an interpreter would tell us what they were singing.

My African Family

This is Bowa and Comfort. Bowa was one of our cooks, and Comfort worked in the OR. Bowa is a man of few words, but when you asked he would tell us girls we talked too much. He makes the world's BEST bread and tortillas! His wife, Comfort, was a bit opposite of him, she loved to chat it up with us. Technically Christy claimed her as her African mother, but somehow I still consider her family too. This picture was taken the night they invited us over for dinner at their house. Bowa is wearing a traditional smock.
This is Zaato, my African father. He is responsible for making my souped up slingshot. He had 7 of his own children. He was the master of the OR, maybe not formally trained master, but Christy would tell everyone that she would let Zaato operate by himself on her if the need arouse. By the way that's my roommate Christy. I love her, but she doesn't like her "business" to be on the internet, so because I respect her she doesn't make my blog often.
This is Grace's mother. Grace is the girl who had the pathologic fracture and was in traction for months. Her mother is soooo sweet. She speaks no English, and I speak very little Mampruli, but she did adapt me as her daughter--her naughty daughter that is (I loved to tickle her, she would jump so high and send me out of the room). In this photo, she made me teazet one night, and we are enjoying the feast! I got high marks for eating it just the way the Ghanaians would eat it. She slept under her daughter's bed almost every night.

Friday, May 2, 2008


I actually have some better pictures of the wards, but for whatever reason my computer doesn't want to load them. Two of the three pictures are in the male ward, which was the ward I mainly took care of. I took the photos at night, so that I wouldn't have people mugging for the camera. The only thing was my ward wasn't very full (I'm serious, full would mean ALOT more people on the floors). I miss the wards!

Around Nalerigu

This is right across the street from the hospital.
Pretty flowers outside someone's home.
A typical little shop on the street.
Nalerigu has a library. I have no idea what kind of books are in there. Caroline had taken us to the library at NASS (the high school) and it had a pitiful number of old books.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm back from cruising!

Hey if anyone is still around to read that I'm back, I'm going to post some pictures I couldn't in Nalerigu.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008


(Thank you very much)

I would like to say thank you for all your prayers and support, I safely arrived back in Branchville yesterday afternoon.

Likely after the cruise, I'll be uploading a bunch more pictures and such.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Public Health

This is a bit backwards, but since I didn't post this week, I'll write about it now.

There were a bunch of new volunteers this week, so to keep everyone from stepping on each other's toes, we got to branch out a bit. Christy and I took up an offer to spend the day with public health. Public health takes care of the immunizations and prenatal visits, they have a place on the BMC compound, and they also travel to villages.

We started out helping Issac, our friend, give some immunizations. We were pretty confused as to how to give them at first, because he told us they were to go intradermal. We were pretty sure he didn't mean sub-epidural, like when you make the little wheal for a PPD shot. Christy thought he meant then subcutaneous, so I give a subcutaneous shot to the next guy, and Issac is like no, let me show you. He proceeds to give the next shot intramuscularly. A tad confusing. I'm just going to have faith the Lord will overcome our inexperience, and bless the vaccinations anyways.

Mrs. Baaba runs public health, she told us they were heading out to 2 villages that afternoon. First for antenatal clinic, then to give meningitis vaccinations (they are experiencing an outbreak). Mrs. Baaba would come pick us up at our place after lunch. Mrs. Baaba is a character, I'm pretty sure she'd fit well in a Charles Dickens novel. She's not slight, she likes her way, and she can drive FAST. It made for an interesting journey. She took special delight in laughing at me, but curiously I really don't know why I made her laugh so much. After awhile, I just started being more silly the more she laughed at me. She and I worked together doing prenatal visits in the bush. Our clinic room, was a wooden table inside a closet filled with USAID bags filled with something, slightly different than your average American obstetrical visit, eh? I have fantastic pictures, but still haven't found my cord, so we will all have to wait patiently. If it wasn't entertaining enough to watch me try to remember my OB, have Mrs. Baaba, and three stunned local midwives watch me laughing (even more laughter when I let them use my camera, which they have never touched a camera before.....I will confess I lied and told them they took great photos, but in fact they cut off heads...forgive was too entertaining watch them try to take the picture), simultaneously they were burning a field right next to us, and holding school under a tree. Who knew it could be so busy in the bush.

From there we traveled to a village, close to where Tommy Harrison would take us to church. The village was called Tuuni. It was market day and we were giving out meningitis vaccines. Now in the US, you have to drag your child for a vaccination, in Ghana you practically throw your child at the man holding a syringe. We were crowded in from every side. It made sense though because the people wanted to be vaccinated (knowing there was an outbreak going on) and assuming we would run out of vaccine before everyone got it, which also happened.

As I said, it was market day, and we got some of the nurses to take us down to find some little treats. BUT the highlight of the day, and a very selfless act by my fantastic roommate, was that Christy gave up a ride on a moto back to Nalerigu, to give me the experience. Now we were WAY out in the bush. Mrs. Baaba thinks we have LOST our minds, why would anyone opt for moto. It happened, by the Lord's grace, I had brought scrubs with me. I ran into a building, ripped off my skirt, threw on scrubs, tied a scarf around my head (it happens Issac came with us when the dentist was here, and you might recall they were very specific that if I was to ride outside the lorry, I had to cover my head....well he was driving the moto, so the same rule applied).

I'm pretty positive that besides Christy, no one thought I would last the whole way back on moto. It's far for one thing. It's dirty. And the road is terrible. BUT I actually felt like it was less bumpy on moto because you could more easily avoid the bumps. Mrs. Baaba insisted she follow the whole way in her van, in case I gave up (which at least kept her speeding in check). She did, probably at Christy's suggestion, creep up on us and beep really loudly to try and scare me. I only laughed.

I came home dirty and happy.

Pictures to follow. In fact, I'll let you judge yourselves, how the midwives pictures turned out....that is if I didn't already delete them.