First off, I want to thank all of my followers who are STILL posting, commenting and sending me emails, years after my last post! You are the ones who keep me excited and motivated to write! If you need advice on Ghana and want to learn my opinion, please email me your name, phone number, and best time to call you (calls must be within USA). I have so much to say about the country I love, I cannot possibly answer all of your questions through blog entries or emails.
I am very excited that I am going back to Ghana this Jan 2013!!! Last time I went to Ghana was summer 2011 so it has been a trip long over-due. I am very excited about volunteering at West Africa Aids Foundation with my mentor Dr. Naa. I will stay with her family again and help out in every way I can. Dr. Naa came up with a wonderful project proposal that I am very excited to get started on. She realized that there is a large problem with traffic accidents in Ghana, and there are very few ambulances available (they usually only respond to the needs of the wealthy). If you remember back in 2010 during my study abroad trip, I founded the WAAF Ambulance Fund to raise money for the clinic to get their own ambulance. Patients are commonly transported to and from hospitals in taxis, which is a major health and safety concern. The proposal Dr. Naa and I are working on together is to develop a First Aid Program, teach basic EMT/ first responder techniques, and provide First Aid kits to drivers in Ghana, to help increase the chances of car accident victims recovering after an accident. Many drivers of taxis and trotros (vans) have not received first aid training before, and once they are properly trained and supplied, they could make a large impact on car accident survival rates. Many American basic First Aid techniques must be altered in order to make the education relevant and effective in Ghana. Drivers can make a significant difference in reducing road-side mortality rates if they learn how to ensure the safety of passengers during traffic accidents.
Since my return to USA, I graduated with my bachelors from Cornell University, I got my EMT-B license, and I worked as an EMT for the largest private ambulance/EMS company in the Northeast. I am very excited at the opportunity to put my EMT skills to good use through teaching and educating others. The idea of bringing two of my passions together, my love for EMT/medicine and my love for Ghana, will be an excellent opportunity for me. I am also in the process of getting my application together for medical school, which is a long and rigorous process in and of itself. I am looking forward to going back to Ghana to return to my source of joy, inspiration and motivation. After all, if it wasn’t for my study abroad trip to University of Ghana and my internship at Dr. Naa’s clinic back in 2010, I may not be here writing to you today and I may not be on my path to a career in medicine so early in life! Well, I would like to believe I would have found this career path eventually, and I would HAVE to find my mentors at WAAF someway…It seems like I was destined to be here, to become a doctor and to work in underserved areas with the people I love and admire on a local and global scale. I could talk about my love and passion for medicine, WAAF/IHCC, and my proposal in Ghana for days… I will sum it all up in a smile and a <3
What made me decide I had to go back to Ghana? It’s funny, I was reminded of these reasons recently. First, one of my best girlfriends from my study abroad trip went BACK to Ghana to see her boyfriend that she met there in 2010. I was interested in how they kept the relationship alive, long distance for over 2 years without seeing each other! Now that takes strength! She inspired me to return to Ghana. As you know, I publicized my engagement with my Ghanaian boyfriend in the beginning of my blog, but since then we decided it would be best to just be friends since long distance wasn’t working well for us for various reasons. Well, I am happy to inform you that I am still in contact with him and he is in a position to make an impact now and help me with my developmental projects in Ghana. I am very excited to go back and see all of my friends in Ghana, including my Cornell grad friends, my friends from U of Ghana who I met during study abroad, and all of the wonderful people who have helped me and inspired me along the way. I want to go back to the Night Market and say hi to the lovely friends who made my breakfast sandwiches each and every morning, and I want to go back to my friend at Bush Canteen who made all of my beads. I remember, she measured me and tied together all of my beautiful waist beads. And I also have my friend who made all of my traditional Ghanaian clothes and styles! I have so many people I love and miss in Ghana, I can’t wait to visit them :-) My third source of inspiration that really encouraged me to go back was my other girlfriend’s wedding party! She got engaged to a Nigerian while she was in Ghana. They knew each other through mutual friends and they had a long distance relationship for a while. I am happy they received blessings from both sides of their families, and they are getting married! I am very happy for them.
These stories prove to me that love IS what makes life so beautiful. Passion and love, whether its for a person, a place, or a purpose. If you LOVE who you are and you LOVE what you do, everything else will fall into place. Life is too beautiful and intense to let a day slip away from you. You have to seize every moment, reflect on what you love, and make a difference for others in anyway you can. Sometimes just saying hi to a neighbor or giving away something as a gift is enough to keep the source of human connectedness alive. Sometimes it takes more—well sometimes it takes dedicating a CAREER and livelihood to follow your dreams into uncharted territory, to stand alone on a cause that you are passionate about, and to find others who support that mission as well. I know I don’t stand alone—although I am alone in my studies and my medical school mission, I know I have people who love and support me on a local and global level, and I want to succeed for US ALL. I can envision myself as a first year medical student, retuning to Ghana in Summer 2015 and sharing my experiences with my mentor, Dr. Naa, in the same clinic where all of these beautiful ideas were born.
Thank you for your continued support and I am looking forward to your responses and feedback.
Have a great day!
~Peace and Love ~