Lowri Watkins - Medicine in Ghana
After a long journey and not knowing what to expect, on top of the heat, arriving in Ghana was a real cultural overload. I’ll never forget the noise, smells, colours, and shouts as I went along the street. As I waited in the Pink Hostel for others to wake up, people were going for their daily run at 3am. We then took a ‘tro tro’ from Accra to Cape Coast, which is a bit different from an Uber, but is something you get very used to!
I had always wanted to visit Africa and having done my research, I was really blown away by the amazing experiences others had written about. I hope to be a nurse in the future, and this was a brilliant way to get experience that I couldn’t get in the UK, as I was too young. Ghana was a country I had not been to before. I had such a wonderful time and am definitely planning to return.
My medical placement
I had such a diverse programme, spending some time in Cape Coast Teaching Hospital. I experienced working in the neonatal intensive care unit, obstetrics, gynaecology and delivery, all of which I will never forget! I also went out into the community every day, helping to diagnose conditions like malaria. I visited schools to deliver healthcare information, and leprosy camps, which were challenging but immensely rewarding.
The people in all the places where we went made me feel so welcome. The children in the school I visited were so thankful, they sang us a song to show their appreciation, which really touched us. The people I met were inspiring; this combined with my experiences in and around Cape Coast were life changing. This is something I can’t truly show my appreciation for, but it makes me want to return that much more.
My host family
One of the best things about the trip was my host family. The highest compliment I can pay them is they made me feel like a family member rather than a guest. My new brothers and sisters, grandma, mum, cousins and aunties made sure there was always something going on, organising evening activities for me and the other volunteers. It was an amazing welcome, with lovely food, and I never went hungry.
My free time
Ghana was so welcoming and friendly with strong cultured communities. The people I met were so appreciative. The towns I visited were vibrant, with lively local markets where it seemed you could buy anything. I’ll never forget how the sellers carry goods on their heads, which required immense balance and posture but was so normal for everybody!
On top of the programme, I also had a weekend trip to the beach and another to the Kakum Rainforest Reserve, all of which helped me to further explore this incredible country. Ghana is a country like no other and I cannot thank it enough for the experiences I gained from it. The people, the markets, and the streets are all things you just wish to be a part of and I truly cannot recommend it enough.
Support from Projects Abroad
The staff could not have been more helpful. I felt I could go to them with any query and they helped show us what Ghana is really like. My supervisor, Victor treated us all like family, which I am forever grateful for. He was there with us every day and really helped us explore the country. I could not have hoped for better. Eric’s wife even made me a pair of trousers and a purse! I left Ghana with friends for life. The other volunteers were so friendly and I still talk to people I met on my trip. We are planning to meet up soon, even though we live all over the world.
I can’t thank Projects Abroad enough for the experience they have given me. I managed to travel around Ghana and had the absolute time of my life, which I will never forget. I would love to go back to see them all again. I can’t name everybody but all the staff at Projects Abroad, including Mishka, Victor, Maggie, Eric and Enoch made my time so special and that much more meaningful. I would love to return to Ghana in the future!