2011 Mission to Ghana
from Renee Brown
We arrived safely back in Nashville about 7:30 this morning after a long flight, a little tired and in need of a shower. Who would have thought that we would have needed to go to West Africa to get out of the Nashville heat! We are looking forward to Doritos, diet cokes, salad, bacon egg and cheese biscuits, bacon cheeseburgers and some sleep, as well as seeing our family and friends.
We want to thank everyone who supported us for this trip to Ghana through your thoughts, prayers, and financial gifts. It was a wonderful experience. We truly were humbled by the hospitality of the Ghanaian people and all they shared with us while we were there. We laid the ground work for continued collaborations in the future and came away with some new friends.
2011 Mission to Ghana
from Hannah Peck
It’s been two days sense we’ve blogged because we have been traveling half way across the country to Kpando. We woke up early Tuesday morning for the exciting Tro-tro ride. We arrived in Kpando in the early afternoon to an extremely welcoming, Emmanuel, who gave us a tour and introduced us to all the departments of Margaret Marquart Catholic Hospital. He introduced us to a few of his patients and sat in on Emmanuel’s treatment session of a stroke patient. After the session, Emmanuel discussed with us the increase in stroke prevalence in Ghana, due to high blood pressure and poor diet. After the day at the hospital, Sarahann introduced us to some of her friends she met on her last visit to Ghana, who invited us over for dinner. We enjoyed a relaxing evening outside in the “cool” Ghana air, with 30 neighborhood children who were very excited to see some “yevos” (white people). We just happened to meet a fellow Tennessean who will also be joining us on our flight home on Sunday. What a small world!
The next morning we awoke early because it was market day in Kpando. After telling all of our new and old friends goodbye, we got back onto the Tro-tro for the long, fast, bumpy drive back to Accra. Upon arrival in Accra, we met up with Peter, the co-founder of Standing with Hope, at Ghana Health Services for a tour of the prosthetics and orthotics clinic (picture below). We met a patient that was extremely excited to see 5 young ladies who will be working with him tomorrow. On the walk home from Ghana Health services, we passed through the “bus stop”/market to find some delectable “Obama” (and family) cookies. After a long day of traveling, we had dinner at the hotel and decided to practice taping ankles for our upcoming 1st Responder course. As you can tell we are having a super exciting evening.
2011 Mission to Ghana
from Sarahann Callaway, Mollie Carver and Hannah Peck, 3rd year PT students
Today was a very educational day in Ghana. We began with cultural training with Albie and Rose discussing the economy of Ghana, its history, the health care system, neo-colonialism, education, and current problems that the Ghanians are facing. Next we are able to visit the tomb of the first President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, where we toured the museum and its grounds and learned about Ghana’s efforts to unite all African nations and met the possible next president “Yo.” Nkrumah’s tomb is a popular destination for weddings and wedding photography sessions. We were even asked to take pictures with one of the brides getting married today.
We then proceeded to have a bus tour of Accra and then ate at the Country Kitchen for lunch/dinner. Don’t be fooled by the name; we had authentic Ghanian food. Next we drove to the University of Ghana and were able to stop at the highest point of Accra where we could overlook the city. Rose and Albie then took us to a dance class with a group of students from Cal State University where we learned to dance, sing, and play the flute. And lastly, we took our first taxi ride from the University back to the hotel.
2011 Mission to Ghana
From Renee Brown & Kathy Galloway, Faculty Sponsors
Our team of 6 departed Nashville on Friday July 23 for an African adventure (above)! Kathy Galloway (PT, DSc, ECS), Renee Brown ( PT , PhD), Sarahann Callaway, Hannah Peck, Mollie Carver (all 3rd year PT students) and Maggie Monteverde, Director of Study Abroad arrived in Accra, Ghana after a long crowded and delayed flight. We were met by our in-country guide, Albie, and checked into our hotel. We had a walking tour of part of the city, including an arts bazaar where drums were being made. We walked through the market streets (watch out for the gutters! Your car exhaust checks are worth the $10!) and enjoyed a cold refreshing one at a café (below). We returned to the hotel and had a quick walk on the beach before dinner. We enjoyed our first Ghanaian meal of Red Red, Tribal rice, tilapia, ground nut soup, and okra stew. We turned in as it had been a long 2 days!
2011 Mission to Ghana
from Belmont News
A group of Belmont faculty, students and alumni from the College of Health Sciences & Nursing are in Ghana this summer for a pilot medical service trip they hope will blossom into an annual mission for the University.
“This is really more of a relationship-building and fact-finding trip,” said Physical Therapy Professor Renee Brown. “Our goal is for it to become an interdisciplinary and an annual trip.”
Physical Therapy Associate Professor Kathy Galloway, Assistant Provost for International Education and Study Away Maggie Monteverde and third-year physical therapy students Sarahann Callaway, Mollie Carver and Hannah Peck also are on the 10-day trip.
Callaway visited Kpando, Ghana two years ago to carry out health initiatives, host community talks on malnutrition and diseases and work in a pharmacy.
“Even with the stress of PT school… the memories of Ghana still dance across my mind. I must admit sometimes during a lecture or two I have been known to daydream about my return,” Callaway said. She approached Brown about creating a Belmont University mission trip to the developing country, and she immediately approved. “To make a long story short, over the past year and half Dr. Brown and many other people have been working very hard to make this trip possible.”
The group plans to visit the country’s capital Accra, Kpando and Cape Coast. There they will work with the physiotherapy department in a Kpando hospital as well as tour clinics and physical therapy academic programs at local universities. They also will work with Standing with Hope (http://standingwithhope.com), a nonprofit organization founded by Belmont University alumni Gracie and Peter Rosenberger that provides custom-made prostheses to amputees and teaches them how to use their new limbs.
2011 Mission Trip to Ghana
from Sarahann Callaway
Akwaaba is the phrase we will be greeted with as we step off of a plane into the muggy sweet air that is Accra, Ghana. For most of the people on this journey, this will be a new and exciting moment.
For me, it will be a comfort and joy because I will finally be returning to Ghana. Two years ago before the stress of PT school I lived in Kpando Ghana (the K is silent) for seven weeks doing non-profit global health initiatives. We held community talks on malaria, typhoid, and malnutrition. I also worked in the pharmacy in my town where I met many friends in the health field. This trip changed my life and I came home with a new love (Paulo! He’s 5 now!) and so many new friends.
Even with the stress of PT school, and trust me there is plenty of stress, copious amounts you might say, the memories of Ghana still dance across my mind. Yes I must admit sometimes during a lecture or two I have been known to daydream about my return. Once I got back to the states I wasn’t sure what my next step would be to get back to Ghana but I knew that I needed to go back to continue building relationships and continuing to help in any way that I could. At first, I thought about joining the Peace Corps after PT school. I soon realized the Peace Corps salary, even though it is a worthy cause, wouldn’t be able to cover the debt I have accrued while attending graduate school.
First semester of PT school every student takes the dreaded Histology class by the lovely Dr. Brown. I’m allowed to say dreaded because if anyone knows me they know that Histology was one of my favorite courses. Yes, I am probably the only student to step through the halls of the McWhorter building to believe this. During Histology, Dr. Brown made many announcements about various mission trips that the College of Health Sciences would be participating in. This intrigued me to approach Dr. Brown with the idea of an inter-professional trip of PT/OT/Pharmacy/Nursing to Ghana. I had made many connections because of my work at the hospital. Dr. Brown took the bait!