by Work the World

Scared! I’m a little concerned and worried about going by myself: I know no one there, I don’t know how much English they speak, what my house will be like or what they will make of me. I told Prince and Joesph that I am fine going by myself although it is still nerve wrecking, I’m sad to leave my friends at the Work the World house!

Prince talked to me on Thursday all about the village I am going too, it sounds really good. I am staying with a woman called Comfort and the rest of her extended family. There will be mosquito nets there provided, and we are taking plenty of water, bedding and loo roll for me! I will be having my meals made by Jeff and Wisdom at the clinic, who I will also spend my afternoons with doing local activities. (All sounds very exciting!)

Ophelia is taking me at 2pm to the village. It’s nice to know she comes with me and all my stuff and will make sure I am settled before leaving me.

Day 1 – 8pm

Wow, what a first day in the village! I can’t believe I was so nervous before going – I couldn’t have been made more at home! Ophelia and I set off from the house at 2, and it took about 45 mins to get there. (the dirt road on the way is one of the worst roads I’ve been on the entire time in Ghana – I thought we were going to get stuck in a ditch at one point, but as Jeff said ‘this is real Ghanaian transport!’)

When we got there I met Comfort and the house. Comfort doesn’t know much English, but between my fante and her English we had a good conversation! She is also a wonderful lady, and gave me lots of hugs making me instantly feel at home. she showed me her house and told me she was my mother! The house is pretty basic – a horseshoe shaped concrete block separated into 6 – 7 rooms where all her family lives. (from her 33 year old son to her 6 year old grandchild!)  However compared to the rest of the village which is pretty much mud huts its quite luxurious!

I’ve got my own room, with a lock which is literally a mattress on a lino floor with a mosquito net. Basic but nice than I thought it would be. I think I will get the real African experience here that I’ve been wanting to experience!

After saying goodbye to Ophelia and meeting the rest of the family I went to clinic and met Jeff and Wisdom. They are both fantastic and to my relief speak perfect english! (However they can’t pronounce Jodie so I’m now called Yaa my African name!) Jeff showed me around the clinic, and where things are such as the school and the toilets! (long drop… not looking forward to using one of those at night!) Afterwards Jeff made me red red (a tomato based bean sauce with pasta) and then he took me back to my room. Its only 8pm but its pitch black here – I have never experienced darkness like it but the stars are breath taking. Apparently during a full moon its really bright at night time – something that doesn’t normally happen with western light pollution! I sat with the family for an hour, playing with the two kids and watching them all dance to music. (My favourite song African man came on.. reminded me of BBQ!)  after this I was really tired so settled to my bed, with the mosquito net tightly tucked in! Jeff is picking me up at 7am tomorrow for clinic (its only a 5 minute walk away but he insists on meeting me – so sweet!). I can’t wait till tomorrow to see what the clinic is like and to see more of the village!

Written by Jodie Booth, medical student at the University of Sheffield

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