Written June 30th, 2014
I have spent the last week and couple of days in the consulting room at the hospital, which has been nice. I worked with the doctor, inputting the patient’s complaints and medications into the computer while the doctor would assess the patient. Other than the hundreds of malaria patients there was a few that stuck out to me. I saw one patient that was diagnosed with schizophrenia with little testing give a few math problems. I saw another patient who passed out in the consulting room and we had to lift him up, put him on the bed and give him some fluids.
I have worked with the same doctor for the past week and have gotten to know him very well. I leave Ghana in two days and it has caused me to reflect greatly on my stay here in Ghana. I have to say that it is an experience that has made me grow in ways that I could not foresee. I have had great encounters with some Ghanaians and some annoying ones but that is how people are universally; the experience changes, however, when you are in a new society, it takes a certain demeanor, delicacy, and cultural understanding to handle the situations that may happen. This, I think, also creates an alertness of behavior and deliberateness of action that does not occur at home from routine.
It is an interesting experience to live in a culture vastly different from our western culture of fast-paced materialism and see how it has affected the world, even the rural areas of Ghana as well as the urban areas.
I have made some great friends in Ghana that have helped me grow in many ways, and these friends I will miss greatly because, despite only being here for two months and moving to a new place about half-way through my stay, I have developed a bond, like family, because they have been my family for the past two months. I will miss my Ghanaian families. There is a unique bond that is made from an experience like this. I think it is characterized by almost instant openness between both parties, interest in each other that goes beyond particulars and to interest of health, comfort, and happiness. I have learned to be family to these wonderful people, to be happy when they are happy and to feel their sorrow in times of mourning, like when a family member of my Ghanaian family passed last week (not immediate-but the pain was still evident). Bonds like these cannot be easily loosed- neither by distance or time.
I have been given a great honor by the person who owns the school that I stayed at in the beginning of my stay in Ghana. I helped him dig the trench for the foundation to be laid for a new classroom that is being built. The classroom with house one of the incoming classes for next year and will be finished by August for the school year starting in September. He has given me the honor of having the classroom named after me and my family-it will be called the Williamson Classroom! I have never been honored in such a way and I am excited to know all about the students who will be in my classroom, and I am excited to watch the progress of ‘my kids’ ☺!!!