Hey lovelies! Just as I was thinking, “So I’m really not going to travel anywhere this housemanship year huh?” God came through with this trip haha.
Back story? Alright! Whilst I was a medical student, I was the Regional Assistant for Africa in the Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace (SCORP) within the IFMSA, over two tenures (2016-2018). Over this time, I acquired training experience and travelled to a few countries to train medical students on human rights and peace issues, and I loved it! When the Vice President of the Federation of Ghanaian Medical Student’s Association (FGMSA) reached out to me regarding this training, which was not going to plan as the intended trainers were unable to make it, it was perfectly timed for my leave period (I just finished my internal medicine rotation, to the glory of God, because I honestly couldn’t wait to get out lol) – so I gladly consented. The association took care of my flights, accommodation, feeding, tourism – in short, they took total care of me, I’m super grateful!
Let me give you the timeline upon which all this happened:
Saturday: Approached about the training
Sunday: Got Flight Tickets
Monday: Got Permit from my consultant to be absent from the call the next day
Tuesday: Did my last day at work + flew to Ghana by evening lol
It really was a whirlwind – and all along during this timeline I was making presentations, planning for sessions, as well as planning my own logistics – this is yet another reason why it’s important to be passionate about what you do, when I was staying up late at night researching for my sessions, it didn’t feel like work to me, in fact it was rather enjoyable!
So fast forward to Tuesday, I land in Accra around 5.20pm (Ghana is an hour behind Nigeria) and I’m greeted by my friend Elise, who I met in Burkina Faso at a conference way back in 2016 and we’ve kept in contact since then. She and her friend Dennis took me to Café Kwae to while away the Accra traffic and we were joined by her friend Samuel – conversations there were unending, I really enjoyed my time with them, plus the food we got was delicious!
In Front of Café Kwae
Had Beef Samosas & Fries with spicy mayonnaise, along side some beverages
(L-R): Dennis, Samuel, Elise & ETP – after a lovely chat
Having only a 12 hour layover in Accra that was at night, I didn’t get to do as much sightseeing as I’d have planned, but Elise and Felicia (another friend of her’s) still took me on a drive around and showed me the lovely sights. Something that astonished me was how the President’s House was in the city centre, like civilians lived opposite it, like there was no distinct isolation from the rest of the city, it really shocked me coming from Nigeria lol.
Mucking around in a bathroom haha
The exquisite Elise 💕
Ghanaian Independence Arch
Doctor’s Quarters at Greater Accra Hospital, Ridge
I stayed at Elise’s place in the Doctor’s Quarters, then headed to the local airport in the morning for my flight to Kumasi.
Touching down in Kumasi early on Wednesday morning, I hit the ground running and went straight to the venue to survey the space available and get a feel of the participants’ energy as my sessions were starting in the afternoon. These were the most vibrant trainees I’ve ever had in a SCORP event ever, all 25 of them knew why they were there and were interested in gaining all that there was to learn from each session – which made my sessions so much fun!
The first topic I taught on was “How to Plan a Training” and as it was a practical session I was basically teaching them formally via the info on the slide as well as via my own presentation styles.
The next topic I did was medical ethics – which is a personal favorite of mine to teach, and it was a hit lol. The questions and contributions were numerous, and by the end of the session they could chorus the ABCDEF of Medical Ethics (Autonomy, Beneficence, Confidentiality, Do no harm, Equality/Equity, Fairness).
Cross-Section of the amazing participants
After the day’s sessions we went on a walk around the city, and I had their fried rice which was delicious, and I tried Kelewele (which is spicy fried plantain & groundnuts) which was equally nice!
Fried rice, chicken, salad with Ketchup & Mayonnaise – and it tasted awesome!
Day two, I had 4 sessions! You see what I mean when I say I had to work late in preparations lol. I spoke on Discrimination, Peace & Conflict, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and Gender Based Violence. I had a headache afterwards haha, but I left the sessions sure that I had imparted knowledge, so it was worth it!
Shout out to Sarabelle for this photo which she posted on whatsapp that led to me speaking to her friend via voice note about sexual rights and their infringements 😂🙌🏽
Got a few souvenirs then Efua took me out to dinner at Ike’s café and Grills (yes, there was a Nigerian owned restaurant in the Kumasi Cultural centre lol) and I had the famous Ghanaian jollof rice!
On my plate was Jollof rice, fried chicken, shito (a Ghanaian spicy sauce), salad and plantain. I’d say that when the rice is eaten along with all these additions its delicious, but in a stand alone competition against Nigerian jollof rice – Nigerian jollof wins hands down!!
Dinner with Efua, the Present Regional Assistant for Africa in the IFMSA Standing Committee On Capacity Building, also known each other since 2016 💕
I really enjoyed my short stay in Ghana, and truly hope to be back soon so I can experience more of it and see the lovely people time didn’t allow me to meet this time around!
Some more photos for your perusal:
Ghanaian food is very welcoming to a continental palate, this club sandwich I had for breakfast on my way to the airport was scrumptious.
Sarabelle checking her envelope for secret or not so secret messages lol
They’re big on garnishing their foods with different side attractions lol
I visited the Okomfo Anokye Sword site where, according to mythical folktale, Okomfo Anokye’s sword is fastened to the ground and no one has been able to pull it out! Giving you Thor vibes eh? Ghanaian government then built this structure around the site and charge people to view the sword – in the past people used to try to remove it but that’s not allowed anymore lol.
Okomfo Anokye’s immovable sword
Statue of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King of the Asantehene (Ashanti Tribe) who is also renowned to sit on the sacred, holy, Golden Stool. History states there was a whole war called the war of the Golden stool, when the British colonialist demanded to sit on the stool as a means of enforcing control over the Ashanti tribe – this request did not sit well with the people and a war ensued very quickly in response. The result was a de facto independent Ashanti state under British protectorate and Ashanti retained control of the Golden Stool.
Till next time,
Dr. ETP xo