Ghana Trip to Study Tuberculosis: Day 25

by Danielle Tsougarakis, Bioengineering ’20; and Kate Panzer, Bioengineering ’18

Ghana 25.1
Our last trip to Icy Cup, a yogurt food truck and shop chain that can be found scattered across campus and in other major commercial areas in Kumasi (left to right: Hope McMahon, David Pontoriero, Ethan Zhao, Martin, Katharine Cocherl, Kate Panzer, Kaila Helm).

David Issadore, a faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania teaches an engineering course ENGR566 – Appropriate Point of Care Diagnostics. As part of this course, he and Miriam Wattenberger from CBE, have taken nine Penn students, most of them majoring in Bioengineering, to Kumasi, Ghana, to study the diagnosis of pediatric tuberculosis. While in Ghana, these students are blogging daily on their experiences.

This morning, we found out that we would be spending our last night in Kumasi in a hostel, which is equivalent to a dormitory at a U.S. college. We packed our belongings and moved into a hostel called “Complex Brunei,” which is an apartment-style dorm for upperclassmen, each room furnished with three beds, a closet, a full bathroom, and a table. We were all excited to get the student experience of staying in a hostel and compare it to the visitor housing at the KCCR guesthouse.

In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to visit the international community school (ICS),  a high school founded on the philosophy of bringing competitive, Western-inspired education to Kumasi. A friend of our team member Dave currently works at ICS and suggested we come speak to the prospective college students at the school. That being said, we gave a presentation on how the college application process works in the United States to a group of 10th and 12th graders. After our brief overview, we split into small groups and answered individual questions students had regarding different types of universities, SAT/ACT scores, the importance of a strong essay, and other application essentials. Speaking with the prospective students here and motivating them to apply to American universities was a great experience. Sharing our own college application processes and stories with the students was a fun and engaging way to fuel their academic aspirations. After our well-received presentation, the whole team left feeling accomplished.

Ghana 25.2
For our last night in Kumasi, we spent quality bonding time with our new friends Seun (Pittsburgh) and Tim (Michigan) and said our goodbyes.

For dinner, we had a special surprise outing to a nearby Chinese restaurant, where we shared many different dishes and passed them around on a rotating glass platform. For some of the Ghanaians, this was their first time trying Chinese food, so it was fun to hear their reviews of all the dishes. Upon returning to campus, we continued our beloved tradition of team bonding by playing the Noun Game and card games.