Friday, January 20, 2012

Our Last Day in Ghana

Mrs. Serwah Quaynor with Cate Crowley at AACT
We spent the morning of our final day in Ghana visiting the Autusim Awareness, Care & Training Centre in Accra. The director, Mrs. Serwah Quaynor, is a parent of a child with autism. She established the organization in 1998 after finding limited options for her son. When we arrived, the children were singing, dancing, and playing drums outside during worship time. Mrs. Quaynor gave us a tour of the preschool and primary school classrooms, the walls covered in daily schedules and AAC materials for the children. Some of us inquired about volunteer opportunities while others purchased artwork, cards and bookmarks created by the students, with proceeds benefitting the school. Currently, the center relies on tuition fees and fundraising  as it receives no government funding.

Kevin, a student at AACT, proudly displays his artwork.

We returned to Forte Royale for the last time to pack and load up before stopping by Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. We surprised Dr. Laing and the cleft palate team with a DVD of a public service announcement put together by Skye McLeod. The DVD showcases the high quality of cleft palate repairs performed by the team at Korle Bu and can be used in outreach programs to raise awareness of the extraordinary work performed by the Ghanaian cleft palate team.

Claudine trying banku
Finally, we joined for our last meal together in Ghana at the Cockpit Grill. Many enjoyed their last fill of jollof rice and red red, while the more adventurous opted for banku. In the meantime, we danced to the two main Ghanaian songs we have come to know and love, the catchy chart-topper Waist and Power and the popular dance craze Azonto. Finally, the time came to say our thank yous and goodbyes. Our supervisors Cate, Miriam, and Pam presented each of us with a Certificate of Completion and we sang all of the traditional Ghanaian songs that we have perfected over the course of the trip in-between sentimental speeches.

The trip really would not have been the same without our guide, George, our driver, Alex, and our entertainer, Nicholas. A big thank you to all of the doctors, hospital staff, teachers, patients, family members, hotel staff, and anyone who helped us along the way, for being extraordinarily welcoming, educating us, and making our journey possible. Thank you also to our supervisors, who each offered their own expertise to help us develop our clinical skills. And to each other, for working collaboratively and helping each other grow as clinicians.


We will never forget our time in Ghana. Medase pii!

-Christin Chambers

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