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My Medical Volunteer Story: Little Sweet Taste of Ghana

I went to volunteer to Ghana to try to make the best out of the little gap I had while waiting for my authorization notes from the Medical Department of my university. This is my story.

To wait for your medical studies can be so much more fun, than just sitting around and spending your time hoping for your university confirmation! You can just do what you always wanted to do, and what you won’t have the time for later on. I chose to offer social help to those in need.

After my volunteer social year in a national hospital and a lot of social commitment to aid organizations, I decided to volunteer abroad in a medical program in Ghana. Even though I registered in the short term, Studentsgoabroad was able to organize everything.

Eventually, I could fly to Ghana on the 6th of January, accompanied by palpitation and pleasant anticipation. During the flight, I thought about the warnings of my friends and family. “This is Africa, it’s a third world country” or “Please take care of yourself” were the most frequent statements.

But after I have arrived, I was surprised in a very positive way. Everything was better than I expected. The volunteer house was equipped with electricity, fans, fridge, TV and almost no mosquitos. We also had water, if there wouldn’t have been the burst water pipe. But no sooner than I got used to the bucket shower, the damage was eliminated.

I lived with 3 other volunteers in the flat of our host mother. Our host family was really kind and affectionate and we got along straight away. Despite my good English skills, it was hard to understand the Ghanaians due to their Pidgin. But after a few days, I got used to the Pidgin and even knew some phrases in Ewe. I worked at the Diabetes Center of the Hospital. I checked blood pressures and mostly worked at the computer to enter patient prescriptions.

On the weekend we did some traveling and visited nearby cities and villages. Literally, the expeditions have been breathtaking. The first weekend we had the possibility to attend a really splendid traditional engagement and the mass.

The second weekend we went to a reserve, but unfortunately weren’t happy to see any big animals, but countless colorful butterflies and tiny frogs. We spend the next day trekking up a mountain under the blazing sun and equipped with too little water.

The third weekend, which was my last, we traveled to beautiful waterfalls and I got bit by numerous mosquitos. We visited cities like Lipke Todome and Kpando, where we saw former German housings and a gorgeous sunset.

In general, the first impression you get in Ghana is strongly related to the warm-hearted people. They spread a feeling of vitality to everyone. Even though Ghanaian people own less than we do, they act so much more human and are caring persons. You do not care so much about missing water, widespread power cuts or missing hygiene standards, because the people will offer you a smile whenever they can. I really fall for Ghana. I was fascinated by those 3 weeks to such extent, that this won’t be my last visit to Ghana.

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