By Deborah Albert
At the start of my second year at university I was determined to do something life-changing, I didn’t know exactly what that would entail but I definitely wanted to challenge myself and the skills set I thought I had already. Little did I know that this trip be so character building and invaluable.
The purpose of my trip was to travel to villages in Ghana as a promoter and educator of health and good sanitation. Upon arriving, I met the Health Team I would be working with for the first time. I arrived in Ghana on the 15th of July and remember feeling so overwhelmed and excited. This had been my first time in Ghana, or any West African country at that, and I was excited to explore the different landmarks, understand the culture, meet new people, try new foods, and of course carry out the mission I had been planning for so many months – all of which I did successfully!
Being a West African, Nigerian, 20 year old myself, I knew it was a long time coming. I was just hoping that my hotel had some form of wifi because as shallow as it may sound, I couldn’t imagine what it’d be like to go two weeks without any form of social media interaction because that was my main form of communication in London. In retrospect, this was a very minor sacrifice and was well worth it!
Before the first team briefing, I was required to help wash 120 buckets needed for the program. I found this to be more enjoyable than it sounded. I remember it being really hot at mid-day so the fact that I was standing with my feet bare foot under the tap when I was washing up made it a bearable task. I found that the most overwhelming part of working at the first Ada village was getting on the small wooden boat as I had a strong fear of water but I somehow managed to conquer it as I kept the mothers who would need my help in mind.
Later in the week the team travelled by bus for nine hours on dirt roads to a northern, mountainous area of the Volta Region. We stayed in that region for two nights. The remote village of Sabram houses 3 communities. Heavy rain occurred throughout the day. There was large attendance by villagers in a very small building with a tin roof. I persevered even when the monsoon like rain pelted the tin roof making it impossible to hear, it was a very challenging yet rewarding experience.
This was definitely a life changing experience and am glad I had the support of the my friends and family. I would definitely recommend everyone embark on a mission to give back to those that most need care!