This past week was out first official week of work. There are two hospitals that I will be working at during the summer. I will be rotating with Annie and Jumi, the other MHIRT students working on the project. Anyway, this first week we pretty much stayed together just to get to know Suntreso well, and then next week we will split up. I will be on my own next week at Suntreso, but I will be fine.
So far, my work here has been rewarding. I got to see interviews conducted in Twi. However, the videos on breastfeeding that we show to the women enrolled in our study are in English and then translated by the research conducting the interview. So, I’ve learned quite a bit about breastfeeding and breastfeeding for low birth weight infants more specifically. I also got the opportunity to help take measurements of a low birth weight infant apart of our study. She was so tiny and precious. I don’t think I have ever held a baby so young and tiny. In all, I love working in the hospital everyone is very friendly and eager to help you with everything you need, especially Dr. Bakari. I am so excited to work with her because she is very reassuring and makes the hospital experience so much better.
Aside from work, this past week I have also been becoming more and more comfortable daily living in this wonderful country. Although, I still have not really figured out an eating schedule because meals twice a day aren’t really working for me. I wish we had a kitchen so I could make home cooked meals, but I’m going to work with what I have. I am thinking of buying a rice cooker, so I can steam vegetables—I never thought I would miss vegetables this much—and cook ramen and rice. By doing so I hope to also save money because I really want to go to Cape Town for our last week in Africa since we will not be working. In addition to food, I also need to figure out how to laundry because I am running short on clothes and I refuse to pay the 100 cedis fee to have the hotel wash my clothes. I know its hand washing, but $25 for washing clothes just doesn’t seem right because I usually pay around $3 to do it in Ann Arbor. Besides food and laundry, I would say that I am adjusting pretty well to daily life.
Exploring this wonderful country has also been great! This past weekend my PI’s, other MHIRT students and I went Kakum National Park and, not too far from it, Cape Coast. This weekend’s festivities included a walk up in the trees (a series of connected bridges pretty high off the ground), visiting the Elmina Slave Castle, eating a restaurant with a beautiful view of the beach and probably the best burger I’ve had besides Frita Bastidos burgers in Ann Arbor, and playing in the sand. We had so much fun that a few of us are thinking of going back to Cape Coast this weekend. I am so excited for excursions throughout the country and maybe even the continent.