Monday, March 21, 2011


On Saturday we took all the kids to the beach and it was amazing!!! They all had so much fun. We rented a big tro-tro (bus) for the day for 100 cedis and all the volunteers, staff, and kids piled in. I think there were 37 of us in total. Lauren's parents are here visiting for the week so they came too, but they took a taxi because there was no more room. The sister's at the orphanage made a huge container of rice to eat for lunch for everyone. We got the beach around 9:30 and spent the ENTIRE day in the water. A few of the younger kids were scared of the water at first but they all ended up going in. The waves were HUGE and our kids were fearless!! They were all being hit by waves and laughing. The younger kids usually stayed close to shore and rolled around in the sand. Joe, age 4, LOVED the water. I would hold him and go out into the waves and they would be hitting us and he would laugh and didn't want to get out. Mishack, age 2, who is the younget kid at the orphanage was a fish. He spent the whole day in the water. He wasn't scared of the waves at all and laughed when the water hit him in the face. Vlad rented a board from a little shop and so all the older kids were taking turns riding the waves into shore. Some them would get hit by the waves and get thrown off the board, but they will were having a blast.
All of the volunteers got really bad sunburn. We can't be out in the sun like all the children and even though we kept reapplying sunscreen, we all got really burned, especially since we were in the water all day so the sunscreen kept washing off. Even with the sunburn, it was well worth it. We were all exhausted when we got back home and we all slept really well Saturday night. In about a month, we are going to try and take the kids back to the beach, because it is only about an hour away, and they enjoyed it so much! Me, I am excited!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Clinic

On Thursday, We took Ernestina, age3, Kwashie, age 5, and Meshack, age 2, to the clinic to get their rashes looked at. Gus and I went with Dr. Kwame, who takes care of all the medicine at the orphanage. They have had a recurring rash, that become open sores, and it will get better but then it always comes back. The clinic is in Agona-Swedru, which is a 45 minute tro-tro ride from Bawjiase. The clinic is a small room with ceiling fans and consultation rooms along the side wall. The room is packed with people waiting for their name to be called. We got there at 10:30 am and gave the insurance cards to the front desk. For 6 cedis a year, you can get basic insurance coverage through the government and are able to get treatment from the government clinics. We sat and waited for close to 2 hours for them to call out name. Once they called our name, Dr. Kwame had to fill out information for Mishack and Ernestina, because they had not been to this clinic before. Then we sat and waited for our names to be called so they could get their vitals taken. They called each name individually and it took another hour or so for all 3 of the kids to get called. After we got vitals taken, we had to wait again for our name to be called to get a consultation with the Doctor. When you go in the room, there is a nurse recording information and the doctor sitting at a desk. She looked at the rash and asked a few questions and then wrote a prescription in the child's chart. We were only in the consultation room for about 5 minutes. She handed me back the chart, which is a folder with blank pieces of paper inside, to go get the medicine from the pharmacy. The pharmacy is right outside the clinic and everyone who was waiting inside all day was now outside waiting to get their medicine from the pharmacy. Gus and I took the children home, around 3:00 pm, and Dr. Kwame waited for the medicine. He didn't get back to Bawjiase until 7 pm. This experience really makes you appreciate the efficiency of Western medicine. Even though there is a wait in an ER, they are as efficient as possible at getting you treatment. Most people at the clinic were being treated for malaria, and even though many people die from malaria, most people who live here have gotten malaria, so treatment is usually just an injection, and then oral medication for a few days and they are better. Hopefully we all stay healthy while we are here.
Next weekend we are taking all the kids to the beach for the day, so I will make sure to write all about it. I am soo excited!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Going to church

This past Sunday I had my first experience at Church in Bawjiase. Pastor, who runs the orphanage is Pentecostal. There are a few Pentecostal churches in Bawjiase and then once a month all of the smaller churches meet in the big church in the center of town for church on Sunday. This past Sunday, the church was at a smaller church. The service was help in a school building, with about 50 plastic chairs set up. They have speakers set up and microphones and there are 2 people playing drums. People get to church between 9-11 am and then church goes anywhere from 12-1 pm. The women wore beautiful handmade dresses in colorful pattern fabrics and almost all the women have their hair covered because that is considered, proper dress. The beginning of the church service is a lot of singing, Most people stand up in their seats and clap their hands and sing along. When a song was finished, another person would stand up there and either talk, or begin a new song. It was difficult to understand anything they were saying because the whole service was in Twi. They had someone translate the readings from the Bible in English since "Obrunis" or "white people" were there. The whole experience was so much more informal than church services in the United States, but everyone seemed to be so much more prayerful and involved in the service. I saw someone fall to the ground in prayer and a few people were crying while they were praying. I wish that I had been able to better understand the service and what was going on.
This upcoming Sunday March 6 is Independence Day in Ghana and there is a parade a festivities planned for the day. I will make sure to blog about it!