Hi, my name is DeAnne Start. I am 2nd year graduate student in the school of Social Work at UNE. When this wonderful opportunity to travel to Ghana, Africa came my way I knew that I have to go for it and absorb all this experience and culture had to offer me.
Today was our first full day in Sekondi, Ghana. After a day’s worth of travel which included 2 planes and a 5 hours bus ride. This bus ride took us through some many cities, towns and villages and was my first exposure to the culture and lifestyle. Upon arrival, we were welcomed with open arms and lots of love and warmth.
Though I have nearly no medical experience I have been entrusted to work the triage/intake station with two fellow comrades, a fellow social worker and a nurse. The people of the community who we saw today were absolutely wonderful and grateful for the work we are here and the sharing they offer us. Most of the patients seen today do not have health insurance or a provider they can see on a regular basis.
The children in this community are the most adventurous and beautiful children. They are always there with a smile on their faces and a warm greeting to give. They are happy to have a talk with you or hold your has you walk down the street. With the limited resources around them, they are amazingly happy and playful.
I must also mention the community health workers that help out in so many ways. They are in the clinic with us to be interpreters, translators and to offer guidance. They are a wonderful source of cultural information; they also help us to navigate many cultural opportunities.
Though I have only been here for just over a day, I can already tell that they place and its people are going to change me for the rest of my life. I would not exchange this experience for anything. I really looking forward to meeting so many more people in our upcoming clinics; our tours of the surrounding area; visiting; shopping in the market; and Cape Cost University.