Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day Two at Korle Bu

Today was the final morning of our stay at Yegoala Hotel. After dealing with ‘waterless’ showers and other minor mishaps, Cate made an executive decision to have our tour guide George make arrangements for us at another hotel. Once we finished packing and bringing our luggage downstairs from our rooms, we all gathered for breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Our breakfast consisted of eggs-omelet style, two pieces of toast, pineapple juice, coffee, and tea. During breakfast, Cate encouraged us to share our experience from the first day meeting clients at the Korle Bu Hospital. Each group had different experiences and our conversation allowed us to discuss and share any questions, concerns, or ideas we thought would help us in assisting future clients during our stay in Ghana.

After completing a wonderful breakfast we arrived at Korle Bu, the teaching hospital in the city of Accra. We quickly separated into our four groups, unpacked all of our therapy materials, and prepared for our clients. Similar to our first day at Korle Bu, each group saw an average of 2-3 clients, ranging in age and varying in types of communication disorders. Each group conducted interviews with the patient and/or family member, performed assessments, and made recommendations to improve the presenting communication disorders of the client. Collectively, we felt that our work at Korle Bu was successful and we are all looking forward to another productive day tomorrow at the hospital.

At around 3PM, we all packed up our therapy materials and headed to the dining lounge for the University faculty. Like yesterday, the lunch was a buffet style consisting of chicken, fish, vegetables, noodles, and Joloff rice. Everyone enjoyed their meal and managed to unwind after successfully completing a busy, yet, fulfilling day of work at the hospital.

After our lunch, we then headed to the tourist market in Accra to buy arts and crafts, textiles, jewelry, and other handmade Ghanaian items. When we arrived at the market, we were immediately bombarded by the vendors trying to sell us their merchandise. As we went from vendor to vendor, we saw many beautiful hand crafted art, jewelry, and clothing. Through the narrow aisles we walked and listened to the sellers calling out for our attention and gently tapping on our shoulders to persuade us to buy from their shop. Although intimidating to some at first, we adjusted to our environment in a matter of minutes and began to bargain prices for various items. Before leaving the market, many of us were able to get great deals on Ghanaian handmade masks, drums, jewelry, and clothing, right from our bus window. We all had a blast interacting with the sellers and bargaining prices quickly became a newly discovered skill for most of us.

We then left the tourist market and made our way to meet Dr. and Mrs. Ofosu-Amaah. Thanks to Brooke, we were given the opportunity to meet Dr. Ofosu-Amaah, retired chairman of the board at Korle Bu Hospital. After contacting Dr. Ofosu-Amaah earlier this week, we were cordially invited to his house in Accra. When we arrived at the house, we were greeted with a warm Ghanaian welcome. During our visit, we asked questions about Ghanaian culture and Dr. and Mrs. Ofosu-Amaah shared their life experiences and current views on education and healthcare issues in Ghana. It was amazing to have a conversation with two cultured, intelligent, and highly-respected individuals who have done great things in Ghana and other countries. Before leaving, we all took pictures together to capture this memorable moment and thanked the Ofosu-Amaah’s for their hospitality. Brooke, who is a close friend of their son, presented them with a wonderful basket to show our appreciation for their kindness.

We finally arrived at the Unique Palace hotel and got settled into our rooms. At 9PM we gathered around the pool to have our daily discussion of our articles featured in our course pack. We had an amazing discussion about children with disabilities and the need for speech and language services in Ghana. Personal experiences as well as different perspectives and opinions were shared during our conversation. At the end of our meeting, many took a swim in the pool and had a bite to eat. Others decided to rest after a long day and/or reflect on their experiences by writing in their daily journal. Overall, it was another exciting and busy day in the beautiful country of Ghana.

- Written by Danielle Lake

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a trip! I wish I were there with you guys. It was so touching that families like Judy's traveled from 3am to seek the therapy. It must feel great that you were helping children who need you most and knew your work made a difference in their lives. ---Miaoling