Day Thirty-one We got up this morning at 6am, showered, and did our final packing. Vida arrived at 6:45am to say goodbye and get our room ready for Leah and Sherie’s arrival. We were very sad to say goodbye to her….she took such good care of us! David arrived at 7:15…yes he was actually early, but then he disappeared! The guys helped us get our bags loaded into the car then we hugged everyone and said our final goodbye. David dropped us off at the airport and we began our long journey home. We left Ghana at 10:20am and after stopping in New York and changing airports (yes airports….not just planes!) we finally landed in Birmingham at 11:20….we were 20 minutes early! Mom was disappointed she wasn’t there right when we arrived, but I was happy to see her regardless! She and I stayed up til the early morning hours going through all my pictures and looking at all my souvenirs. She had to leave for a business trip early the next morning. :( Now I’m back in Mobile all safe and sound. I started my ortho surgery rotation (boring!) this week. I have this rotation, an electron microscopy rotation, and one month of vacation before graduation!! This has been an amazing year and this last month was especially awesome! I can’t wait for my next trip overseas…they get better every time! Thank you to everyone for your love, support, and prayers!!!
Day Thirty This morning Kim, Leigh Ann, ChiChi, Mike, Andrew and I got up very early so we could see the sunrise on the beach. David came over at 5:15 am and drove us in the van to Labadie Beach. We found some chairs to sit in and waited for the sun to come up. Sadly, it was very cloudy and we didn’t see the sun until about 6:30 am and the usual beautiful colors of the sunrise were hidden by all the clouds. We still had a good time just people watching. We also got to see some baby sea turtles. They had hatched the night before but were unable to find their way to the ocean due to the echo of the waves off the buildings on the beach so one of the men working at the restaurant on the beach scooped them up in a bucket and took them to the ocean. It was really cool. When the sun was finally out, we settled in to soak up whatever sun we could on our last day. Andrew helped some boys pull in their fishing nets which was quite interesting. We stayed on the beach until about 11am then walked just down the road to La Palm Beach Hotel for some lunch. When we finished, we piled in a taxi (for the last time) and headed back to Manna. We had the taxi driver drop Kim and I off at Gilbert’s wife’s (we never did find out her name) shop so we could pick up our dresses. We were cutting it close on time because the wedding started at 1pm but we really wanted to get our dresses so we could wear them to the wedding. She had us try them on and one of mine was too big and she insisted on taking it in right then. After she was satisfied with the way they fit, she ironed and packaged them for us. Right before we left we gave her the baby gift we purchased for her and she was very excited. She wants us to come back and visit so we can see their sweet baby girl….I hope we can! We got back to the house just in time to take the fastest showers ever, throw on some makeup, pull up our hair, put on our dresses, and walk to the church. We got there in plenty of time….nothing in Ghana starts on time. The wedding was beautiful. It was very “American” but did have a few African parts. It was very sweet that we saw a wedding on Valentine’s Day. We were sad that there was no dancing at the reception, but we did enjoy some minerals and Ghanaian pastries. When we finished our treats we all walked back to the house and Kim and I headed to our room to pack. The boys were being very secretive and weird (and they had been for the past two days) so when we were done packing we just hung out in the living room with the girls. Andrew soon came to join us and he told us that Mike and Adam were taking a nap. After about an hour, I heard some noise in the kitchen and headed in to see what it was. Before I could get there, I was stopped by Andrew and Adam both yelling for me to stay out of the kitchen! Then a little while later Junior showed up at the house with some bags and took them in the kitchen. He wouldn’t tell us what was going on! He did say that he wanted Kim and I to call him later so we could hang out with him and Linda for a while on our last night. At about 7:30pm the power went out and we noticed candle light from the dining room…the plot thickens! Thirty minutes later the guys came into the living room and asked all the girls to join them in the dining room. We were amazed at what we saw….they cooked us a candlelight dinner for Valentine’s Day…complete with background music provided by Adam’s ipod. It was so cute!! They made spaghetti and garlic bread that was fabulous. They even had sparkling juice and ice cream for dessert! The most adorable thing were the flowers on the table. They couldn’t find fresh flowers for us, so they drew each of us a picture of flowers and taped them in front of our place at the table. Sorry to all the other men in the world, but the bar has been raised!! I would have been impressed if they had done all that at home, but it was even more impressive that they pulled it off in Africa! After our beautiful dinner, Kim and I walked over to Junior and Linda’s apartment to say goodbye. We are going to miss them so much! When we got back to the house we sat around the table with everyone and talked for a few hours then it was time for bed. David would be there to pick us up at 7:30am.
Kim, Andrew, and I were scheduled to be off today since we are working on Dr. Akosua’s schedule so we made plans to visit Chad and Julie at the orphanage. Some of the other students wanted to go too so ChiChi, Leigh Ann, and Mike decided to take the day off as well. Izzi worked in antenatal as usual and Adam shadowed one of the docs at Manna. Chad and Julie had meetings at the orphanage until 3pm so we decided to do some shopping until then. All 6 of us crammed into a taxi and headed to the art gallery at the trade fair. After that we again piled into a taxi and headed to the Artist Alliance Gallery. I bought a few last minute items, but I mainly just enjoyed seeing the other students discover all the cool things we have already seen. From there we headed to Osu to have lunch at Frankie’s. It was wonderful! Who knew you could find hummus in Africa….it was sooo good! We also had a hamburger there because we heard they made a great hamburger….they lived up to the expectations and it was the first bite of red meat we have had since we left the states. After lunch we did a little shopping in Osu then crammed into a taxi one last time for the ride home. We dropped our purchases at the mission house then met Julie, Chad, and another volunteer from the orphanage, Alli, in front of the hospital. Julie was complaining of some pretty severe ear pain so I brought along my otoscope to check in her ears. She definitely had an ear infection and I was able to get her some Augmentin from the pharmacy. I’m glad I was able to help her because I know ear infections aren’t fun. With all the “doctoring” for the day complete we got a couple of taxis and set out for the Hands of Mercy Orphanage. As soon as we got out of the cars we were swarmed by children. They all had huge smiles on their faces and I fell in love with all of them immediately!! After introducing myself to a few children I quickly learned that there was an orphan at the home named Ashley and in a matter of minutes they brought her to meet me. She was an adorable 6 year old and we bonded instantly. She spent the rest of the day at my side and wearing my sunglasses. From the minute she took the sunglasses from my head and put them on she was a ham…striking poses for the camera and walking like a supermodel. The kids were so excited to have so many paying attention to them and loving on them. I could have stayed forever, but after a couple of hours it was time to say goodbye. We took a few taxis over to Coco Beach to have dinner with Chad, Julie, and Alli. As soon as we got there Leigh Ann and I walked down to the beach to look for Adam and Junior….they were there playing in a soccer game on the beach. When we found them we were glad to see that Izzi was there with them because we hadn’t been able to get in touch with her to tell her about the dinner plans. After watching a little of the soccer game, I walked down the beach to watch a church service that was taking place on the beach. It was the most amazing thing…I stood with my feet in the sand and water of an African beach, closed my eyes, and listened to voices praising God in a tribal language I didn’t understand….does it get any more amazing than that?? When the game was over we headed up to the hotel and ate dinner. We spent the evening getting to know Chad, Julie, and Alli better and just laughing a lot. It was very relaxing. We got back to the mission house around 9pm and headed straight for the shower…..we got quite dirty and sweaty playing with all the kids!
Today was our last day at the hospital. After devotion they called us to the front and presented Kim and I with Kente scarves (for lack of a better term) that said well done and had our names on them. (The spelled Shirah without the “h” on the end but that’s ok) We got to say thank you to everyone and then they all came by and hugged us or shook our hands. It was very sweet. All the students had to stay at Manna today so Dr. Akosua said we were officially graduates of her program and wouldn’t be working today. We went around the hospital and handed out thank you notes then headed to the lab to be retested for malaria. Unfortunately, the parasite is still in our blood. The half life of the medicine we took is 6 days so there is still a chance the treatment we already had will clear the remaining parasites. We are feeling completely well, but will probably bring another course of treatment home with us in case we need it. This afternoon when the others are done with clinic, David is going to go with us to the Art/Cultural Center which is a huge open-air market. We have been told to take a Ghanaian with us to help us bargain so we are excited David agreed to be our escort. Tonight we are going to have a big group dinner at the house and just play cards and hang out. We are planning to get up very early tomorrow morning so we can see the sunrise on the beach. We are excited that the other students have decided to delay their trip to Cape Coast by a week and spend our last day in Ghana with us. We will spend the morning on the beach, then we are going to a wedding here at Manna at 1pm. We have been told many times we should witness a Ghanaian wedding so we are excited about it. We should be able to pick up our dresses from Gilbert’s wife in the morning so hopefully we can wear them to the wedding. I guess this will be my last chance to blog in Ghana, but I will be sure to blog when I arrive in the states just to let everyone know we made it home safely. Our flight leaves Accra at 10:20 am Sunday morning and we will arrive in New York around 5pm and in Birmingham at 11:35pm. I can’t believe how quickly this trip has gone by!! I love everyone and will see you soon!!
P.S. I added some pictures to the blogs from the past few days!
Today there was no way I was going to the hospital…I felt horrible when I woke up….headache, body aches, abdominal cramps!! Not fun!! I was pretty miserable. Kim and I stayed in the bed until 11:30am when Vida insisted we get up, eat some soup, and take our medicine. She said she would be less concerned about us if she saw us up walking around. We did as she asked and felt a little better after lunch. Tina, David, and Dr. Akosua all came by to check on us during the day. The water truck finally came around 1pm and we were able to shower which made us both feel better. Izzi and Adam made chicken pitas for dinner which were very good. At dinner we learned that Adam, Leigh Ann, and ChiChi had spent their day at La General Hospital scrubbing into surgeries. It’s good that Manna is helping to find things for all of us to do. We spent the rest of the night just exchanging stories and laughing a lot! Just as I went into our bedroom and shut the door for the night, there was a loud crash and screaming from the living room. The ceiling fan had fallen out of the ceiling and almost hit ChiChi. With everyone safe, we all headed to bed.
We are feeling much better today! When we got to the hospital today, Adam, ChiChi, and Leigh Ann headed off to La General again while Izzi went to antenatal and Andrew and Mike shadowed Dr. Akosua. We were told to spend the day in the office finishing up and getting ready for our presentations. I think they wanted us to rest and recover one more day. It was a good day to be sitting in the office because it is Dr. Ablorh’s birthday. Some of the children from the mission academy came in and sand Happy Birthday to him. They were so cute! At lunch time we had a surprise birthday party for him. It was a lot of fun…we had pizza, minerals (the word here for soda), and cake. After the party it was time for the doctors’ meeting and our presentations. The gang from La General got back just in time for our presentations. I presented malaria and Kim presented typhoid fever. They both went very well. When the meeting was over we all headed back to the mission house. Andrew decided he wanted his head shaved so Mike got out some electric clippers and went to work. With three-quarters finished, the clippers started to spark and shorted out….apparently the power adapter/converter they were using wasn’t very good. Adam finished the job with scissors and a razor donated by Leigh Ann. When they were done we headed out for Coco Beach Hotel. Izzi, Andrew, Adam and I paid to swim and the others just sat by the pool. We walked on the beach a little, but we only got a short distance before someone tried to charge us to walk any farther. We turned around and headed back to the hotel. Adam, ChiChi, and I decided to throw the football and eventually Kim, Andrew, and Leigh Ann joined in. I always enjoy throwing a ball around and chatting….and this time was no different. We stopped when we noticed we were missing a gorgeous sunset. It was the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen! (unfortunately the pics are on the large memory card that the computer won’t read!) We spent the next 20 minutes just watching it and taking pictures. After the sun went down we decided to eat dinner. As usual it was very good and we had a great time continuing to get to know each other. We got home around 9:30pm. I took my journal and IPOD into the dining room, but ended up sitting and talking to Adam for about half an hour instead of journaling. I have really enjoyed having other people in the house to get to know. After that it was time for bed!!
I wasn’t feeling very good when I got up this morning, but I just brushed it aside (I haven’t felt great off and on for about a week now) and got ready. I even made blueberry muffins for everyone this morning. It was a little more difficult than at home with the gas oven, but they came out pretty good. And Adam even washed all the dishes for me….finally someone else that believes in the “you cook, I clean up” theory! All eight of us headed off to the hospital not knowing what to expect…..eight med students is way too many for this little hospital to handle. After devotion, we sat in the office and waited for Dr. Akosua. Tina said Kim and I didn’t look well. We were planning to get tested for malaria today so we would have time to get treated before we leave. With Kim’s illness this weekend and my feeling lousy this morning we headed to the lab first thing this morning. Sure enough…..both of us have malaria! At least it is very easily treated here. Dr. Akosua wrote us each a script for Coartem and a multivitamin. We should be better in a day or two. I feel like I have a mild case of the flu. Other than some GI problems I don’t feel too terrible. I have too much left that I want to see and do this week (I can’t believe it’s almost time to go home already) to let it keep me down. We all (except Andrew and Izzi) had lunch at the canteen today….more rice and some spicy sauce. Oh and some fish that I didn’t eat. Kim seems to feel a lot worse than I do and headed back to the mission house to lay down. We are planning just to stay in tonight. Adam and I are going to attempt to make some yummy pasta. We have chicken and a three cheese pasta sauce so hopefully we’ll end up with something like chicken alfredo….I guess we’ll see. I’m excited to spend a night in since we have so many people…I forsee a lot of card playing tonight. I love and miss everyone very much….and HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!
We got up this morning at 6:30am, got ready, packed up, and went down to check out of the hotel. We asked them to arrange for a driver to take us to Kakum National Park, wait on us, then take us to the STC station in Cape Coast. While they called around we headed to the restaurant for our complimentary breakfast. We had an omlette, croissant, and fresh fruit…it was great! When the driver arrived we negotiated a price of 50 cedis and headed out. There were several ominous black clouds in the sky and it rained on us once briefly during our 30min drive to Kakum. We got there around 8:30am….just in time to join the first group leaving for the canopy walkway. We paid our 5 cedis and the group headed out. One of the girls from our tour group at Cape Coast Castle, Kerri, was in our group once again. Our journey began with a bit of a steep climb up to the walkway. Kim and I decided to be at the end of the group on the walkway so we could make lots of pictures. (I will get some posted….the computer I’m using now doesn’t have any way for me to post pictures) The walkway was a rope net hung between two parallel steel cables that were stretched between trees. In the bottom of the net there were metal ladders laid end to end with wooden planks screwed to them. The bridge swayed and wiggled a lot and at times I was quite scared. The views of the rainforest made up for the fear…it was absolutely breathtaking! When we came to the end of the canopy walk our park ranger offered a nature walk about 45 mins long for an additional 2 cedis. We decided to go for it. We were joined by Kerri and 3 guys from Canada. It was very enjoyable and informative. It was quite warm though and I’m not sure I’ve ever sweated that much in my life! When the nature walk was over we stopped by the gift shop before sitting down for lunch at the park restaurant, appropriately named the Rainforest Cafe. After we ate we found Peter, our cab driver, and headed back to Cape Coast. We arrived at the STC station and paid our 3 ceids and 50 peswas to get on the bus. Luckily they were ready to leave as soon as we got on and Kim and I both got seats by the window. It was a fairly nice 2 hour drive back to Accra. We arrived in Accra around 2:15 and took a taxi back to Manna. When we arrived the 6 other students were playing cards and we got to meet the 4 new students. It is two guys and two girls….ChiChi, Leigh Ann, Mike, and Adam. We decided to all go to the soccer game at the big stadium downtown….we had been told there is one every Sunday night at 6pm. Adam and Izzi cooked some great chicken, rice, and veggies for dinner while Kim and I showered. After we ate we headed out for the stadium. It was raining when we went outside but it only lasted for about 15 minutes. We piled in two taxis and headed into Accra. When we arrived we were disappointed to find out that the game started at 3 and was already over. From there we decided to go hang out at the mall. We got some ice cream from Frankies…and convinced Adam that pistachio ice cream is wonderful despite it’s bright green color…he is now a believer! Kim and Andrew decided to go see Valkyrie and the rest of us sat in the food court and talked then went to the grocery store. I went in one of the baby stores in the mall and got an outfit for Gilbert’s baby girl that is on the way….we wanted to get he and his wife a little gift for being so kind to us. When the grocery shopping was done Izzi, ChiChi, LeighAnn, and Mike decided to go ahead and get a taxi home and Adam and I waited for Kim and Andrew. Adam and I found a bench to sit on and spent about 20 minutes chatting while we waited for the movie-goers….it is very nice to have new people to get to know. When Kim and Andrew came out of the movie, we went outside to get a taxi. Adam jumped right in and tried his hand at bargaining with a taxi driver. He got us a fair price and we headed home. When we got to the mission house we were surprised to find that the others weren’t there. Izzi left the mission house cell phone at the house so we had no way to call them. Adam, Andrew, and I played a couple of hands of UNO while we waited on the others and tried to figure out what we should do if they didn’t come home soon. There really is no good way to go about looking for 4 people in a taxi with no cell phone. After about 30 mins they finally showed up. Their taxi driver had gotten lost and they weren’t able to tell him how to get back to Manna so when they finally saw something familiar they told him to let them out of the car and they walked. Poor things….they looked exhausted when they came in. By then it was 10:30 and we decided to call it a night.
Today started off great! As soon as devotion was over I was greeted with a huge hug from Anita! She is able to open both eyes now and she and her mom had big smiles on their faces. While we were waiting on Dr. Akosua to arrive Kim and I looked up the bus schedule and a hotel for our trip to Cape Coast. When Dr. Akosua arrived this morning she wasn’t feeling well so Andrew, Kim, and I saw patients and she went to lay down in the doctor’s room. Izzi spent her day on the ward hoping to see a delivery. The three of us took turns seeing patients and we went and asked Dr. Akosua about anything we weren’t sure of, but after an hour of that Dr. Akosua felt worse and decided to go home so we took any questions we had on remaining patients to Dr. Asare. When we closed Kim and I went back to the office and made a hotel reservation at Elmina Beach Resort for tomorrow night and Andrew & Izzi went back to the house. When Kim and I got to the mission house our air conditioning wasn’t working :(, but Junior sent someone right over to fix it. They really take great care of us here! With the A/C fixed, the four of us headed out for Osu. Andrew and Izzi got some good items at the stalls there and we had a good dinner at Papayae. When we got home David came over and picked up Andrew and Izzy to go to the airport and pick up the other UVA students. Kim and I took an inventory of our souveniers, showered, and packed for our weekend away. We were already in bed when we heard the other students arrive about midnight. I guess we will meet all of them on Sunday when we get home.
When the alarm went off at 4:15 this morning I felt like I had just gone to sleep. We got ready and went out to the mission house gate to meet David. He was supposed to pick us up at 5 am to go to the bus station, but when we called him at 5 after he was still asleep. We couldn’t complain too much, because we didn’t think he would be driving us around any more at all, but Junior gave him permission to take us to the bus station. Kim and I were both feeling nauseated when we got up and Kim actually vomited before we left, but she was feeling better afterwards so we decided to go on as planned. Then on the way to the station David had to pull over because she was sick again. David prayed over her and once again we decided to keep going. When we got to the station David found the right bus and we got in line. A minute later, David came up and told us the bus would be filled before we got to the front of the line and he told us to follow him. He directed us to a 15-passenger van that was going to Cape Coast. We paid our 5 cedis and got on. It was actually quite nice…it wasn’t overcrowded and it had air conditioning. About an hour into the drive we were rear-ended by another van. Luckily they didn’t hit us very hard and nobody was injured. The driver got out for just a few minutes then we were back on the road. A few minutes down the road a pane of glass fell out of a window of the van in front of us and we drove right over it….luckily it didn’t cause any problem. On the van we met an African-American man from Atlanta. He was going “home” to Cape Coast for his grandfather’s funeral. When we arrived at the station in Cape Coast we asked him how much we should pay for a taxi to the castle and he said his friend was coming to pick us up and they could just drop us off. We arrived at the castle at 8:30am only to find that it didn’t open until 9am. We went in the museum and looked around until the tour started at 9. We paid 4 cedis and 50 peswas to get in…yay for a student discount. The view from the castle was amazing because it sits right on the ocean. The tour was also very good! Cape Coast Castle housed 1,300 slaves for 3 months at a time as they waited for boats that would take the slaves to Europe, the New World, and many other places. The conditions in the dungeons were horrible. They put 200 slaves in a dark room with little ventilation and nowhere to use the bathroom except on the floor. Many of the women slaves were raped by the governor and soldiers. It was very sad! During the tour Kim got sick again and went to lay down on a bench while I finished the tour….it was really really hot!!! By the time the tour was complete Kim was feeling better so we went to the castle restaurant for lunch. It was nice to sit in the ocean breeze in the shade. After lunch we got a taxi and headed to the hotel since it was between Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle. The hotel was very nice and we had a beautiful ocean view from our room!! After we got settled in our room we headed to Elmina Castle. Kim was feeling much better by then and was able to do the whole tour. The history was very similar to Cape Coast Castle. When we exited the castle we stopped at a few stalls right outside. Kim has been looking for paisley necklaces to match the bracelets she bought earlier. We saw bracelets, but no necklaces, but one of the women said she would make her some necklaces if we could wait 5 minutes…so we did. While we were waiting , a young man I met when we were getting out of the taxi at the entrance to the castle (his name was Joe), brought me a large shell that he had written me a note on along with his email address. It was very sweet. A few minutes later he came back and asked me for a donation so that he could play club football…I’m such a sucker!! I gave him 10 cedis and it seemed to make his day. When the necklaces were done we walked to the street to get a taxi. We walked by a bunch of young men and one said to me “You are so pretty” then he reached out, grabbed me, hugged me, and wouldn’t let go. I was startled and struggled with him at first, but when I calmly said “Would you please let me go” he did. When we got back to the hotel we were both exhausted. We napped for a while then at 8:30pm we headed to the hotel restaurant for dinner. On Saturdays, dinner is a barbecue buffet. (barbecue meaning cooked on a grill) It was very yummy!! After dinner we went back to the room, showered, and went straight to bed!
Today was our first day of clinic with 4 med students. We weren’t sure how it was going to go because the hospital is quite small. Kim and I ended up with our own consultation room and we saw patients on our own again today….”just call us doc” has become our little joke. The nurses come to us for signatures on all types of papers now…even insurance forms. I hope the national insurance is okay with that. Andrew and Izzy sat in with Dr. Akosua today. Kim admitted a 16 year old boy with sickle cell crisis and possible acute chest syndrome. I saw an adorable 1 month old who was perfectly healthy, but he was the first born to young parents and they just needed a little reassurance. After clinic Kim and I went around and checked up on our patients on the ward that we have admitted the last few days. Anita, the 6 year old girl with periorbital cellulitis and malaria that I admitted on Monday is doing much better. She now runs up and hugs me whenever she sees me….everyday she reaffirms why I want to be a pediatrician. She and her mother are so appreciative. She even posed for a picture with me! After Dr. Akosua, Izzy, and Andrew finished the four of us walked over to the canteen for lunch, but they were already out of food…it was almost 3pm. We decided to change and venture out for the evening. Andrew and Izzy needed to get groceries. So we walked down to drop our fabric off with Gilbert’s wife so she could get started on our dresses then we all got in a cab and headed toward the mall. We had the taxi driver drop us off on Spintex Road just before the mall and we shopped at all the little stalls on the side of the road on our way to the mall. I found an African female doctor to add to my collection!! She is carved out of wood and hand-painted….I’m very excited. When we got to the mall we showed Izzy and Andrew around then ate dinner and got ice cream at the food court. We made a stop at the grocery store then took a taxi home.
Thursdays are usually our day off since we are working on Dr. Akosua’s schedule, but we decided to go in since we won’t be working on Saturday because we are headed to Cape Coast this weekend. Kim, Andrew, and I claimed a consultation room and Dr. Asamoah agreed to answer any questions we had during the day. Izzy went to work with the midwives becasue she is interested in OB/GYN. We had the nurses send us some patients and got started. In the middle of the first patient, another doctor showed up and we were in his consultation room so we moved to another one. As Kim was finishing up the first patient, one of the midwives came in and said they needed that room for prenatal clinic so once again we were booted out. There were no more rooms available so we went to the wards and checked on our patients. Selassi said there was nothing for us to do and that we should just take the day off…she knew we had been trying to get to the post office and do a few other things and she suggested we do that. Andrew decided to sit in with Dr. Asamoah and Kim and I changed clothes and headed to the post office….we finally got our postcards in the mail…we may get home before they do! We walked around in Teshie for a little while. There is a casket shop on the main road that we have been trying to get a good picture of so we decided to walk down there. They make caskets in any shape you can imagine….dogs, cats, pineapples, boats…you name it, they’ll make it! From there we took a taxi to the Artist Alliance Gallery so I could pick up a few baby gifts…they have really neat hand-made things there. Then we walked from the gallery to Labadie Hotel….it’s amazing how close something can look by taxi, but then can be so far away when you are walking in the African sun in the middle of the afternoon. When we finally got to Labadie we paid and jumped in the pool! Then we had lunch and relaxed. We walked down to the beach and ordered a fresh fruit plate from one of the beach restaurants….it was great. We met a man on the beach from Texas and we talked to him for about an hour and a half. During that time several of the vendors we had purchased things from before came over to say hello. I was quite surprised that they called us by name…I guess there aren’t too many “white girls” running around the beach down there. Kim bought a paisley beaded necklace and bracelet….we all know how she loves paisley things!! We said goodbye to the man and our vendor friends and took a taxi back to the mission house. When we got back we cooked quite a feast….chicken in peri peri sauce (a local spicy sauce we have come to love), rice, mixed veggies….and David showed us how to boil yam and he brought over some spicy stew. We had a wonderful dinner and some great conversation. After cleaning up we were all exhausted and decided to call it a night! The other 4 students will be here late tomorrow night so we aren’t sure who all will be going to Cape Coast this weekend…..at least Kim and I for sure!
Dr. Akosua called us this morning to let us know she would pick us up at the hospital between 9 and 9:30am to head to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. She ended up having car trouble and she finally arrived to pick us up around 10:15am. She pointed out a lot of interesting things to us on the drive through Accra into Korle-Bu and it was nice to have a tour guide. When we got to the hospital we did a driving tour of the grounds. They have living quarters for all the medical students (actually all health sciences students), doctors, and nurses. They ranged from large dorm-like buildings to nice single-family homes for the doctors. They even have their own schools on the “campus”. After the driving tour we parked in front of Dr. Akosua’s dad’s hematology clinic and went in to visit him, but he was out of the office. We decided to walk around the hospital and see how much we could see…..we weren’t sure b/c Dr. Akosua hadn’t asked permission to bring us so there were a lot of places were weren’t allowed to go. We saw the pediatric clinic, emergency room, and ward. In the ward we were able to check on the little girl we referred there on Saturday morning for seizures that we couldn’t control at Manna. She was doing much better! We also walked through the “accident centre” (which is sort of like a trauma center) and the adult emergency room. They were packed full of people. It was unreal! There were people on the floors and on stretchers in the hallway….wherever they could put them. Some you could tell were very sick, but they just don’t have enough space for all of them. After our tour we went back to the hematology clinic and visited with Dr. Akosua’s dad for a bit. While we were in his office she got a call from her son’s school saying that he had a fever again so we had to cut our visit short. We had her drop us off in Osu so that we could get some fabric for our dresses and some lunch. We spent several hours just walking around and shopping at the many street vendors. We finished our day in Osu with a trip to Koala for a few groceries then we grabbed a taxi and headed home. When we got to the house we decided to walk to Gilbert’s wife’s shop and drop off our fabric, but it was already closed. We enjoyed just walking around in the neighborhood. The children often point at us and say ”Obroni” (not sure I spelled that right) which means “white person”. In the smaller communities I don’t imagine they see very many white people. The smaller children are especially fascinated by us. When we got back to the house Izzy and Andrew had just returned from their time in Akosumbo on the boat. We walked with Izzy to get MTN credit and a few items from a stall nearby. Andrew was in the office checking his email so Kim went down there and asked if we could borrow the laptop for the evening. We bought a DVD (which has about 10 different movies on it) on the street in Osu and we were excited about the chance to watch it on the laptop. Before the movie, we decided to make dinner. Kim and I purchased some chicken kabobs at Koala as well as a bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. (we have been missing vegetables!!) We decided to make dinner for everyone (although the portions were a bit small, but the company was great) and we even called David and he came over to eat with us. After dinner he taught us a song in one of the tribal languages….it was very cool!! After dinner, Andrew taught us a Ghanaian card game he learned on the boat and we watched Bridget Jones’ Diary on the laptop before heading to bed.