Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jill and Kim become Pharmacists

Hey everyone!

Last time I left you I was heading to the canopy walk on the cape coast so I will start from there. It was amazing, We went on a tour/hike that took us through the african rainforest. At this park they had build suspended rope bridges that went over top of the rainforest canopys. So so so amazing, I took a zillion photos so you guys can all see it when I get back. After the canopy tour we went back to our hotel and packed up our stuff and headed to the bus.

After a 3 hour delay of stading in the blazing hot african sun from 1230pm till 330pm we finally got on the bus and headed to Kumasi. When we got to Kumasi it was around 9pm and dark. Absolute choas to find everyones bags and head out of the bus station. Once we got out there we started talking to cab drivers they told us that the hotel that we were planning on staying at and had reservations for was 35km from where we were. That would have been about an hour taxi drive due to all the pot holes in the dirt road so we had to find a new place. Our instructor went driving around with one of the cab drivers to try and find any place for us to stay the night. Once she came back she had nothing but bad news. There was a hotel that was cheap and close BUT it had no license and had "warning stay at your own risk" signs all over it. This brings a whole new classification to the term 'dive'. After hearing this Kim, Jaimee, Erin, Lauren, Shawna, and I told our cab driver to stay at the nicest hotel he could find. We were not staying at that other place. Our new hotel was awesome. We had a/c, a fan, a king sized bed, and flushing toilets!

After we had all settled in to our hotels we all met up for dinner. For my next story I need to give you a bit of background as to how the country is set up. All the roads have trenches dug out on both sides for the sewage to run through. Yes thats right, raw sewage runs open to the air everywhere. The smell is devine, especially for when youre eating on a bar patio. Anyways, on our walk to dinner it was quite dark and everyone was tired and apparently not watching where they were walking. We lost two of our UBC-O nurse to the African sewage system trenches. It was a nice welcome to Kumasi.

We ended up staying an extra night in Kumasi due to a bus schedual/ticket mix up so we spent the day wandering around the village. We went to the largest market I had ever seen. It was jam packed, you couldnt move anywhere. We lasted about 15 miuntes down there before we headed back to the air conditioned hotel. Later that same day we went on a tour to see the kings house. It was pretty interesting, very traditional. That night we were all so tired and went to bed right away.
The next day we got up bright and early(6am) to catch our bus to Tamale.

The bus ride was 7 long, HOT hours. We got to the guest house and were very relieved. It is not so bad (for Africa), each room has two single beds and its own shower and toilet. Kim and I are staying in a room and we have pushed our beds together so its like we have a king size. So nice to be in one place for a while.

This morning I woke up with a raging eye infection, I can blame that one on being an idiot and wearing my contact lenses in an unchlorinated african pool. To combat this problem, my roommate Kim and I decided that we would make our own antibiotic eye drops. Very carefully we crushed up one of my oral ciprofloxacin pills(antibiotic)in the most sterile zip-loc bag I could find. I opened up a brand new bottle of contact solution and a new contact case and dumped the crushed pill into the case. Then we added the contact solution and mixed it up. It really looked like it would work but we were very wrong. Kim was stading above me ready to pour the potion into my eye, I was laying on my bed, holding my eye lids open to expose my infected eye ball, and of course, Jaimee was standing above all of us with the video camera. As soon as Kim started dumping liquid into my eye I knew we had made a large nursing error. It hurt like you would not believe. I had chunks of cipro everywhere in my eyeball. The next hour was spent flushing my eye out with water and trying to figure out what the hell we were thinking.

After the home made African eye infection antibiotic incident we got picked up by a tourguide who took us to three VERY rural African villages. The houses they lived in were made of mud and sticks, not even kidding, it is like what you see on TV. The first village showed us how to make shae butter and they did a tribal dance for us. I have never felt so celebrated in my life. The kids were all over us too, and these ones were not like the ones on cape coast. They were the sweetest things ever. All they wanted to do was hold your hand and sit on your lap and touch our white skin. It was incredible, I have a tonne of photos because it is way too hard to describe what it was like. In the next village we learned how to make thread out of cotton and I saw my first massive african spider, not going to sleep well tonight. In the final village we met their chief and learned how to make pottery. On our way back we went to our tour guides hut for a traditional african dinner of yams and fish all mashed up, it was awesome, especially after 8 hours without food and water. I also got to ride on the back of a dirt bike, that was pretty sweet too.

I wish everyone could have seen what we did today. This place is amazing, so different than I thought it would be. I'm really missing everyone at home, one week down, five more to go. The internet cafe is really close to our guest house so hopefully I'll update you guys with more stories as often as I can. Miss you, love you.

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