In this series of posts, University of Pennsylvania students who took the spring 2019 APOC (Appropriate Point of Care Diagnostics) course write about their experience traveling to Ghana in May-June 2019.
On this beautiful Tuesday, we woke up at our hotel to a lovely breakfast of sausage and pepper omelets. After our meal we loaded up on the bus to drive over to Aprade. On the way to Aprade we picked up our water and sanitation expert of friends: Sophia, Kingsley, and Alfred. We first stopped at Aprade Government School where we met with the entire population of the school to present a demonstration on hand-washing. After the presentation we took a tour of the school to survey their existing water and sanitation systems. We learned about their construction projects and about the school itself, which educates about six hundred students!
Our second stop was to the main village of Aprade. We were taken through the village and observed their rainwater collection systems and boreholes. We discovered the public and private boreholes around the village. Everyone was so hospitable and welcoming. Before continuing we took a quick break to eat lunch on the bus. The food was catered and we had a delicious meal of jollof rice and fried chicken. There was refreshing mango and ginger juice to cool us down from the hot day.
After lunch we drove over to Mmeswam. We were able to make an appointment with the Chief! He brought us into his home with welcoming arms; it was amazing being able to shake the chief’s hand. The chief showed us around Mmeswam and led us to his boreholes and wells. The main borehole pumps water to a large elevated tank. Underneath that tank is a pipe and valve mechanism where villagers come to collect water in large basins. The chief encouraged us to take the basin on our heads and try to carry some of the water. Ellie, Kyler and El were chosen among the group to test their strength.
From the boreholes we walked over to the village’s wells. The oldest well was spoiled and is unusable. The working well in the village was a traditional pulley system well. Several of our students cast the bucket and fished up some water. After our day of water we thanked the chief and hopped back on the bus. We drove back to campus, dropped off the graduate students at campus, and made a stop at the mall. We grabbed dinner at Game and quickly made our way home. It had been a long day so we chowed down on dinner and passed out for the night. A great and very busy day!