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.
by Aime Bienfait Igiraneza (Computer Science, ’20)
Operation: Relaxation…and laundry
- Breakfast: Eggs, bread and tea. 8:30am
- Lunch at the Magnificent Foods
- Running (or more of walking in my case) and swimming at the KNUST university
After what was a fun, informative, but busy week filled with hospital and clinic visits and walks through communities (and not forgetting the activity-filled day we had before, of course), this Sunday was supposed to be the time to relax…and do laundry.
Our breakfast started a little later than usual. Though breakfast was ready at 8:30 am, most of us had a lazy morning in and came out to eat at 9:00 am. When all the team members were assembled before the usual omelet and tea breakfast, we decided to do an impromptu recap of the week and brainstormed on how we could adapt our initial project to fit the clinics and hospitals we had visited during the week. This session, as spontaneous as it was, became a good way for us to build on our observations from the week not just for the applications of our project, but for identifying certain problems that can become future projects for future APOC teams.
Keeping the theme of lazy Sunday in mind, we did not start laundry until late morning, around 10:30 am. This didn’t prove to be a very wise idea, especially since we were supposed to do laundry the old-fashioned way with water, a bar of soap, and our good old hands. Furthermore, there proved to be a shortage of buckets for all of us to do laundry at the same time, which didn’t seem to leave enough time before the bus was supposed to pick us up at 1:00 pm for lunch. Nonetheless, we bonded as we shared our buckets (who knew that manual laundry-washing was such a social activity) and we made it in time for lunch; also nothing a little adrenaline and team work couldn’t fix.
After laundry, we had lunch at the same restaurant we visited last Sunday: Magnificent Foods. The food was just as fantastic as we know it is in Ghana (the serving sizes are still too large for any of us to finish), but the most eventful thing was that the tailor came to take our measurements for the traditional clothes we are to wear to the King’s palace next Sunday. Everyone had their designs on their phones, their cloths bought from the market, and a bit of excitement on their faces as we saw our plans on the clothes being born. We anticipate receiving the clothes sometime this week. (Emotion check: beaming with excitement!!)
Once our long lunch meal was over, we decided to do a very un-lazy thing and went running on the KNUST campus before the sun set. This created another team bonding moment and we went swimming afterwards. This was the most memorable part for me because, though I can’t swim, I had my teammates with me and they taught me some basic swimming skills.
The rest of the night was very lazy. We played cards until late and each prepared for the week to come. (Emotion check: tired but excited to start the week.)