The following post is lacking an official theme, but I hope it will be entertaining all the same. This week is more of a mash up of a whole slew of things we have been doing during training.
We went to see the traditional herbalist (aka medicine man) in Anyinasin. He showed us the whole stock of herbs, plants, and bark that he uses to cure people of ailments such as infertility, fever, blindness, seizure, hernia, and premature ejaculation (which is obviously on the same level of seriousness as blindness and seizures). His concoctions usually consist of a boiled blend of different herbs and plants which are then, more times than not, delivered as medicine by means of an enema. My bigger issue with the whole thing was the time frame he gave for the effectiveness of his treatment. Fever will be cured within five days and seizures within twenty minutes. I just wonder, how common is it that a seizure lasts for more then twenty minutes anyway?
We also visited the district hospital in New Tafo. My group had the opportunity to interview the staff members working in the family planning unit, which was quite enlightening. I was surprised to find the broad range of contraceptives offered at this hospital, including the injection, implant, IUD, oral contraceptives, and condoms. The public health nurse showed us the flipbook that they use to discuss family planning with clients that come in to the hospital. Each page she would ask us what we thought was happening in the picture and then discuss the significance of the event in relation to family planning. It just goes to show, health class doesn’t really get less awkward after middle school. When she turned the page to the picture of intercourse, there was an awkward silence and a stifled snicker in the back of the room. It was only after a solid thirty second pause that someone was able to answer “I believe…that this is a picture of sexual intercourse.” At least she put it delicately. I was tempted just to say “THEY’RE DOIN’ IT.” Really mature, I know.
Last Sunday after I left the Internet café, I did a bit of exploring around the marketplace in Koforidua. I spotted a few avocados and decided it was going to be Mexican night in the Afoa residence. A few peppers and onions, some flour, a pineapple, and a bag of plantain chips later I was on my way to an “authentic” Mexican feast. Mama Afoa gave me an indescribably incredulous look as I began to cut up the veggies and mash the avocado. Honestly, it’s a bit sad that the lack of faith in my cooking now extends over two continents. It actually turned out great, although the homemade tortillas were a bit doughy. The Ghanaians did not like the guacamole at all, but I got praise from the other PCTs. Plus, I like to believe that good guac runs in the family (if you haven’t had my mom’s, get on that ASAP). So long story short, last Sunday I fed African children Mexcian food made by an American.
Not quite sure how much more multi-cultural it can get. And I’ll leave you with a throw back to the good old days when Will Smith was primarily a rapper, rather than an actor.