Monday, April 29, 2013

Rainforest Recap (Enchi)

April 13-20 - Enchi
Late entry (2nd post from the Enchi gals!)

The Presbyterian Health Centre is feeling even more like home. We took part in the outreach days where we visited remote villages outside of Enchi. Bouncing in the back of a truck through the rainforest with the wind blowing through our dusty hair, we continued to be in awe of the forest's deep lushness. We weighed hundreds of babies from a scale that hung from a tree or support beam before starting the child vaccinations. With monthly nurse visits to these communities, we were glad to discover that the majority of the kids were up to date and on track with their immunizations.

Back at the clinic we continued to teach, learn, and be involved in all the departments. We got quicker with dispensing medications, improved our antenatal assessments, dressed wounds, analyzed blood for lab work, observed malaria parasites under the microscope, and prayed and played with everyone!!

Our weekend was spent touring the cocoa farm (which is located just behind the clinic!), where the big cheery farmer took us through the process of fermenting and drying the cocoa pods. The white fleshy fruit surrounding each cocoa seed, whichyou eat by sucking off the seed, is delicious! We sampled the "palm wine," the sap siphoned directly from the palm trees and then tried the 50% palm alcohol- some powerful stuff! Madame took us to church Sunday- a joyful and lively service where we joined the dancing line and enjoyed the choir's loud and harmonious music. We were introduced to the congregation and had a prayer said for us for our health, safety, and nursing success!

After one of our days in the clinic, many of the staff got together in the clinic's front yard to unwind and play a football match! It was fun to spend time with the staff outside of work, getting to know them over tea or dinners out!

With much excitement, we presented our donation of health care items to the staff. They insisted on setting out all the items on the front steps for the staff to see, and they invited the Presbyterian minister to receive the gift! They were especially thankful for the nursing reference text books we brought and the fetal Doppler used for monitoring the babies' heart rate in utero.

The four of us gals, Robyn, Marisa, Rose, and Kirsten in the Western Region were sad to have to leave the green and gorgeous town of Enchi after only 2 weeks. We are forever grateful for having the life-changing opportunity to meet and work with our Ghanaian mother, Madame Philomena, and the unbelievably accommodating clinic staff!

We are off for a full day of bus travel to meet up with the rest of our sisters (as in true Ghanaian style, we have become used to calling everyone our sister or brother!) in Bolga in the Upper East Region. Depending on road conditions and bus timeliness this may take us up to 18 hours! Wish us luck!

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