Mission Rabies Ghana – Chapter 8: Halfway Through the Adventure
Today marked the end of the first week. I woke up this morning with my bite wound looking great. There was no oozing overnight, no swelling, no pain, nothing. I shaved and showered, and put on a band-aid, and that was that. Tomorrow I don’t think I’ll even need a bandage on it.
This morning at our base, we stocked our kits and socialized as usual, before heading out. I ran into Charlotte and asked her to help me with some new phrases for the day. I learned “menti asi ay” which means “I don’t understand”. I then learned “Woka brofo kasa?” which means, “Do you speak English?” and also “me fri America” (I am from America) and “yefray wosen?” (what is your name?) and “yefray me Arnold” (my name is Arnold).
We stopped at the corner market once again. Avocado Lady wasn’t there, though. I saw a woman frying up something that looked really good. I was told that these were “donuts”, even though they didn’t have the hole in the center. Either way, they were warm and sweet and fabulous.
Helena joined our team today. She works for Mission Rabies, and it was nice to have someone on our team who speaks English. The plan was to have me and Helena staff the static point clinic, while Adusei, the driver, and Joyce (today’s community health officer) roamed the neighborhood, announcing the location of our clinic and and also vaccinating dogs they encountered along the way.
The static point clinic was a Pentecostal church.
It was very spacious, with about 50 pews. We set up our table at the edge of it.
Shortly after the other team left, Helena and I got mildly bombarded with dogs, including a box of adorable puppies.
A couple of kids accompanied the initial dog owners, and they then stuck around, keeping us company. As usual, they enjoyed posing for photos.
At first they were a little boisterous, but they soon calmed down, and basically just hung around with us. All of the kids were pretty well behaved. One boy was fascinated by Helena, especially her hair.
He quietly stood behind her while she sat, just enjoying being in her presence. It was heartwarming to see. To keep the kids entertained, Helena took out her phone and showed them pictures of her cat, and the kids were riveted.
It was then my turn to entertain them. I figured hey, we’re in a Pentecostal church, so what better way to acknowledge that than by playing the satanic sounds of AC/DC? I took out my phone, tapped the music app, and the party began.
I’ve met a lot of kids during this trip, but I have to say, the kids who hung out with us today were really the coolest, especially these two kids below. The little boy in the red and white striped shirt was really smart. He spoke English very well and was a lot of fun. The other boy, with the green shirt, just radiated goodness. He was quiet and polite, watching what we were doing with genuine interest and fascination. Kids are great photographic subjects, but as for hanging out with them, I really can take it or leave it. But Ghanaian kids are a lot of fun, and these two kids were definitely my favorites for the week.
We saw a few more dogs, and then it got a little slow. The rest of the team returned, and I went with a few of them to grab some food. I wanted something really Ghanaian, so we stopped at a street stand and I got what everyone seemed to be getting: a bowl with two kinds of fried rice, some vermicelli-type noodles, a few greens, an egg, and some reddish sauce.
I also grabbed an order of fried yams. I had them yesterday and they were pretty tasty. They look like French fries, but they taste a little different.
After lunch, we stuck around, vaccinated one or two more dogs, and then started roaming with the truck, to cover the rest of our area. We vaccinated a couple more dogs, and then called it a day. Once again, we managed to get back in time for me to catch the last 10 minutes of the sunset. I never get tired of it.
Tomorrow we get to sleep in; breakfast is at 9:00 a.m. (instead of the usual 6:00 a.m.), thankfully. Then, at 10:00 a.m., a bus is coming to take us all to the huge market in Kumasi. Apparently, the market is absolutely enormous. Our team leader, Adusei, said that it’s so big that you can’t walk from one end of it to the other. We’ll probably arrive there around 11:00 a.m. and we’ll depart at 4:00 p.m., arriving here at 5:00. I hadn’t thought about what I might want as a Ghanaian souvenir. I guess I’ll know it when I see it.