I still cringe every time I poke a little child’s thumb. We have been working in the clinic in one of the town’s near us and I’ve found it very interesting! I am not planning on going to medical school like Cole and Ellen are, but I have enjoyed learning how to do a first response malaria test and how to enter patient’s information. The staff are all so nice and have been helping us. I think we have learned so much already! I even got to hold a baby that was born the night before! Yesterday, I got to go with the mental health doctor around to different homes where he see’s his patients. We saw a man with paranoid schizophrenia. He would not acknowledge my presence. But the doctor would explain to me what his symptoms are and what medication he’s been taking. He had to change his medication while we were there because it was not working. The good thing was that at least the patient was taking the medication. In Ghana, just like America, people don’t see the need to take medication for mental health because they think they are perfectly fine. Then we went to see a teen girl who has hallucinations and hears voices. The doctor had not seen her before so he was just trying to get some information about her case so that he could start seeing her. Right now she has to go to Ho which is very hard to get to without a car. The doctor wants to take her on as a patient so that he can see her at her home. He would ask me what I thought of the patients and listened to my responses intently. I liked going around with him because he was really great about telling me what he was doing, why he was doing it, and he always wanted to know my opinion(even though I usually didn’t know what to tell him). He even taught me how to identify a malnourished child and children with learning disabilities. Also, I rode around with him on his motorbike and that was exciting because it was my first time doing that!
Over the weekends we usually have nothing to do, but this weekend was much different. We got up early on Saturday so that we could hike Mt. Adaklu! The thing is it wasn’t hiking, it was mountain climbing. First off Mt. Adaklu is over 2500 ft tall so I don’t think we were prepared for that. Secondly, we thought there would be nice path that you walk up. We were not expecting to have little children guide us up a mountain going straight up. I was dying before we even made a dent in our trek. It got steeper the further up we got and finally at some points there were rocks with ropes nailed into to help you climb up. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty scary. I think at that part I stopped thinking about how tired I was and started thinking about how much I had to focus so that I wouldn’t fall. Halfway up I wanted to give up and couldn’t believe that we only made it halfway. But the rest was not necessarily harder, but scarier. I was climbing on all fours over rocks and trees and up another huge rock with a rope. But I cannot tell you how rewarding the view was at the top! We just sat their in awe. Nothing between us and 2500 ft down. it was crazy and wonderful. I think that is the crazies thing I have ever done and it’s definitely been one of the most memorable experiences here. And the craziest part was that the kids leading us up did it in flip flops and didn’t even break a sweat. Whereas, I drank two liters of water and never peed. But thats Ghanaian children for you.
Last thing I want to comment on is the fact that we just found out that polygamy is very popular in Ghana. We were all very confused as to why the kids would call each other brother and sister sometimes and then cousins other times. We never really got how they were all related. It wasn’t until Sunday that I found out that the man that lives next door to us has three wives and pretty much all the children that come play with us everyday are all his. And then to make that even more confusing the wives also have children with other men than their husbands. I just can’t keep track. What I found especially interesting is that the man with three wives told me he is a good Christian man and it is perfectly fine to have several lovers. But out translator, Fred(who is also a devout Christian) says that this practice of polygamy is very bad. I want to look more into this because it has intrigued me thoroughly.