My Experience Thus Far | #7

I can’t believe that my time here in Ghana is almost up. It feels like yesterday that we were just arriving in Ghana. These past two have been quite the roller coaster. I know that things will not always go as planned and that the research process will not always easy. I just would like to reflect on experience a bit thus far.

The work that I am doing here is not what I expected. I was expecting to make huge contributions to this project and to have really talk and learn from the women here. But it has been quite difficult to do so because most of the women don’t speak the English well enough for the follow-up to be conducted in English or because the research assistants can better express and explain the techniques and important information in Twi. I have had the opportunity to give the survey to some women in English and have learned a lot about the health care in Ghana and even in Africa. I tend to have very high expectations of my internships and can become disappointed when these expectations don’t materialize.

However, I will say that this has been a great learning experience. This past week in particular has been quite a challenge. So as by request from my PI back at home, I send weekly updates every Friday and did so this for this past week. I told her that I sent my data collect so far had been sent to Dr. Blackwood, a co-PI on the project and briefly talked about our conversation via email. In short, she said that he was not happy at all to say the least and requested to video chat immediately. I was devastated and it took me a moment to tell myself that this just meant that I had to do better and to keep working at my project. My PI and I had our conference call and she told me that she wanted me to send her a document to sort my project out and make sure that I was going in the right direction. I told her I would send her this document by Tuesday. So a good portion of my weekend was dedicated to this. My goal is to present my portion of the project at a conference next year in Chicago and I appreciate Dr. Civil helping me in the process to get there even though it may be difficult at times.

Even though the past couple of weeks have been stressful, it wasn’t all work. The MHIRT crew and a few others went to Lake Bosumtwi and stayed at a mini resort. The view was beautiful and enjoyed the company of many little critters.  The view was amazing with some great company. It was an overall pleasant weekend.

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