So tonight is our last night in Hohoe! Just when we start feeling at home, we’re packing up to leave. Tomorrow morning, Patrick willl be taking us back to Accra where we will spend Thursday night and get ready to fly back to the US late Friday night.
These last few days in Hohoe have been great. As for some of the things we’ve done with Care Net: On Sunday, we went to yet another football game in Fodome Amle. The tro-tro ride there was quite horrific, with tons of potholes (real ones) and uneven dirt roads. I even got pretty nauseous. We made it there alright, but the first thing that struck us was the sound of excitement and shreaking from the kids. As our tro-tro pulled up to the football field, the kids swarmed over to us and were screaming and waving their hands. We walked out one by one and they grabbed us to shake our hands and jump up and down. This was by far the most enthusiastic welcome we have received from the kids (not that the other kids weren’t excited to see visitors). The football game was again boys vs. girls, and it was great seeing the whole community gathered to watch the children play and talk about important issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.
On Monday, we stayed in Hohoe and the Care Net office to prepare for our program on Tuesday. Tuesday was set for a day of “edutainment” in Likpe Abrani, where we visited the previous week. We planned to teach the kids about different types of hygiene (oral, handwashing, and female) and also made up some fun games to help the kids learn. On Tuesday, we went to Likpe Abrani (along with Angela, the nurse visiting Care Net from Canada) and about 60+ kids gathered for the program. Besides these 60+ kids, there were about 50 adults watching on the side and participating in the day’s programs. The kids performed some song, drumming, and dancing to start and end the time of edutainment. I and Antonette taught hand hygiene, Bridgette and Marta oral hygiene, Angela female hygiene, and Michael teenage male hygiene (or much rather, abstinence and different ways to show love). We had some difficulty communicating with the kids, but the community patrons and some Care Net staff helped us translate. Overall, the day was quite successful and the kids seemed to have fun.
Today, we went to Afiadenyigbo (near Ho, about 1.5 hours away from Hohoe by car) to visit the maternal and child health clinic that we helped fundraise for last year. The money we fundraised for last year was originally intended for an ultrasound machine, but Patrick informed us that the OB/GYN who will be working there requested that a fetal monitor be purchased first since the need was more pressing. So we helped purchase a fetal monitor, one of the only ones in the whole Volta region! The clinic itself though, is unfortunately shut down currently by the Ghana Health Service because of a lack of consistent water supplies. We nonetheless went to visit the clinic and see the community (we met with the midwife who worked there and Afiadenyigbo’s paramount chief). Patrick explained to us that the community has been very involved in the making of the clinic and has had great need for it. Each day, about 30-50 patients would come in for services. Patrick explained to us that he has put in a request with the Ghana water department to have a better water supply put in for the clinic by the end of this year. So hopefully, the clinic will re-open soon and return to bettering the health of the community there.
As for some fun things we’ve been doing (of course besides all the fun we’ve been having with Care Net business): on Saturday, we went to the Wli waterfall, the highest in West Africa. One of the Care Net interns, Destiny, brought us that day after the morning radio broadcast (this week’s was great, there were 2 more kids and the kids all spoke clearly and assertively, giving out a much clearer message to the listeners). The hike was pretty easy and the sight was beautiful. Michael went in the water and swam up to the waterfall. Us girls just wet our feet, but it was still really refreshing. Then on Tuesday, we went to the Todome caves and climbed Afadjato mountain (I think the highest in West Africa?). The hike was rigorous, going mostly uphill. Marta and I, following one of the Care Net staff who thought she was following the rest of the group up front, actually almost ended up in Togo because we missed a sign and kept on walking East! Thank God for a kind hunting man and his family, who re-directed us back on the right path. 🙂 The sight up top was stunning and it felt so great just to experience the outdoors of Africa.
So for now, I think this will be our last blog, at least while in Ghana! This has been an eye-opening experience and has definitely opened many doors for our partnership with Care Net. Everyone here in Ghana, from Bridgette’s family to the Care Net staff, have been so welcoming and generous to us. We’re really going to miss the “you are welcome” ‘s, the “yevos!”, the spicy food, and the random goats and sheep by the road, the people carrying things on their heads so expertly, Obama gardens (where we ate/drank almonst every night), the good-looking men (haha), the tro-tros and potholes (yeah right), and the hip-life and high-life music.
Thanks for the awesome time Ghana! We love you and promise to stay connected with you through Care Net!
Stay tuned for our return-to-the-US blogs and more pictures!
-Kristie and the GROW team