Even writing the date shocks me, how can it already be June 23rd? Where did all my time go? How do I start my next program in just over a week? I know that summer always passes quickly, but it is passing so much faster since being here. This week we continued to settle into our routine and I was in the ob/gyn ward again. We were able to return to the out patient department and continued to do our rounds in the ward. This week was very warm and unfortunately the ward had lost function of the fans that usually cool down the patients. By the end of the week, however, the fans had been fixed and it is slowly cooling down.
Similar to last week we had to say goodbye to two more of our friends that we had met through the hospital on Wednesday. They worked with different programs, but we were able to spend a lot of time with them throughout their time here in Cape Coast. Mila, our first friend made in the ob/gyn ward, is a wonderful Dutch girl with a warm heart. Abby is from the US and did her whole trip by herself, without a group like CFHI, proving her bravery. Both of them left this weekend. Mila was meeting a friend in Uganda for 3 weeks of vacation before returning home after a total of 5 months of travel. Abby is going back to the US. It is very nice to have met other volunteers from the hospital because we get to hear about all of the other cases in each department and hear about everyone’s experience with different doctors and nurses. Another friend, Brittney from Canada, spends all of her time in the Emergency Room so she tells us all about the interesting, scary, and sad cases she sees. As more and more time passes I feel an increased amount of gratitude towards the United States and our medical system and the resources we have available. Although we have our own share of problems, they seem so minimal in comparison to not having enough oxygen for more than one patient at a time in the ER, or merely having one high dependency room in each ward, or not having a plethora of sedative medications at hand. Knowing this, I will be able to appreciate our situation much more than most doctors in the US. Gratitude goes a long way.
As a fun change of pace, today we spent time at a children’s school in a village just outside of Cape Coast called Ansapetu. This school was started for orphans in the community so most of the kids we met did not have families and lived on the campus. As soon as we walked into the school we felt like celebrities. The small children came up to us and hugged us, trying to touch our skin and hair, as they were extremely fascinated with its color. We presented to a room of students about the facts and dangers of malaria and the importance of personal hygiene. It was a blast! We had to remind ourselves to speak slowly and occasionally the teachers would translate to Fanti, the local language, so that everything was understood. The kids asked many questions and helped make the lesson interactive and fun for everyone. Afterwards the smaller kids greeted us with many hugs. They asked to have their picture taken, asked about our families and their names and asked if we were from America. It is very sad to think that these kids are growing up without families and must live at school with other children. With that being said, it is heartwarming to see that they are still getting an education and learning English, an important skill to have in order to be successful around Ghana. Hopefully the education will allow them to grow up to be healthy and have the opportunity to start careers and have jobs.
We are planning to travel to a beach to the west this weekend and stay overnight on Saturday, as it is our last weekend in Cape Coast. All of us, but CJ, will head out on Friday. Ashley and Emma will be going to Rome for a few days before traveling back to the United States and I will be starting the program in Accra. CJ still has one more week here before she travels home. I will be meeting a whole batch of new people and will be able to experience the capital of Ghana for July.
Here is to one more week in our paradise beach town! Can’t wait to make it the best one yet.