Monday, June 25, 2012

Keeping me on my toes

Day 14

Friday was all about the unexpected. It began with business as usual, class and the like. I had sat down to do some journaling around lunchtime until I heard a knock on the door. I opened it to see my friend Morgan looking like death. She told me she was feeling something nasty and asked if I would come with her to Nyaho Hospital. I remembered having driven past it during our tour of Accra, but neither of us had been inside. Our program director, Abigail, drove us to the hospital in her car, reassuring us that we would be well taken care of and that a taxi ride home would be easy to come by. We had barely entered the front lobby before Morgan started to feel sick again, to which the hospital staff responded immediately! They brought her a wheelchair and began the testing process to see if her symptoms might indicate food poisoning, dehydration, or malaria, which are the most commonly seen conditions among travelers to Ghana.

In short, we spent about five hours at the hospital. Now, I could probably count the number of times I have visited the hospital on two hands, so I’m (thankfully!) no expert on the hospital experience. This one was bittersweet. Most of our time was spent waiting, which was, frankly, exhausting. It would not have been as frustrating if there were someone to check in on us to let us know our status, but we were mostly left alone. Eventually, we decided to ask what was going on, and we realized that while we were waiting we were expected to find out if the lab had produced the results. We were both astonished that patients had so much autonomy! In the States, answers and explanations are brought to you, while here, you must seek them out. Yet, the potential stress that this could have caused was quelled by the most friendly and accommodating staff I have ever met. No matter who we asked for help, the staff always took the extra time to point us in the right direction. I think that’s what makes a world of difference in the service industry. Setbacks occur, people are inconvenienced, and mistakes happen, but a kind word means we are cared for all the same. Thankfully I’ve made it this far, and God willing I’d like to avoid pulling the short straw for the rest of the trip. I don’t care where in the world I am, the hospital is still no Disneyland, nope.

Morgan (Who, by the way, was feeling much better by the time we left! The hospital gave her rehydration salts and malaria medication) and I got back to Ish (our hostel) just in time to join our group to head out for our friend Matthew’s birthday! We were all craving Chinese so we hit up a place down the street. Wasn’t bad by American standards, I guess. I’m skeptical of Chinese food from anywhere that isn’t China. Do we even come close in the States? Have I ever actually tried the real thing? The eggroll is a lie. (Portal reference, ba dum tss) Anyway, after eating, we settled on checking out a night club. And not just any night club. A night club at a Best Western. Yes, a Best Western. Now, imagine a Best Western in your mind. And then imagine it was designed by the guy who did the Ritz. There were three, I say, three glass chandeliers in the lobby. The club was in an underground room beneath the hotel, and good lord, it was refreshing. Ghanaians know how to party. I knew I brought my black pumps for a reason ;)

One down, two to go and I’ll be all caught up!

Nante yie,

1 comment:

  1. Hungering every day for your imagery laden writings - more than matching the photos. How about more dialect . . 'hello', "good day!", "my eyes are bright and my days are filled with wonder." - -(that sort of stuff :-))) ). I keep telling friends and everyone about GISS -- trying to be your publicist here state-side, Gabi. Missing you while being thrilled for you being there. Love you! Dad