Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 10 - Superglue anyone, Kof-town Bead Market, and Dinner at the Capital View Hotel


So if any of you were like me as a child, I can remember staying up late after the news to watch M.A.S.H. I can still hear the theme song running through my head. "Do do do do do do do, do do do do do do do, do do do do do do do, do do, do do, do do do do, do...." I would have to say that watching M.A.S.H. is my earliest recollection of seeing doctors on t.v. You always wondered if in real life the OR is handled like it was on t.v. where the doctor turns to his nurse and asks for certain items "Scalpel. scapel. Gauze. gauze..." While it may not happen that way in real OR's, it certainly happens here in Koforidua, Ghana. As was mentioned in a previous post, Whit's brother Max is here for a few weeks, getting some material for a book that he is writing about Burro. This morning, Max was trying to fix the antennae on his cell phone which had broken off. After locating some super glue, he managed to find a small pointed object to pierce open the tube (you gotta wonder why they don't make them easier to open). Anyways, next thing you know, Max is screaming and screaming. As I got up and went to see what the problem was, Whit is escorting Max down to the kitchen, saying as he is passing "Max just got superglue in his eye." 

As any person would do these days, I immediately jumped online to see what to do. Based on the information obtained, it was decided that we should try and flush his eye with a 3% sodium bicarbonate solution and then wrap it. Luckily we had some sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda), but Andrew, I, nor anyone else had any gauze and tape. We ran across to the street to a small pharmacy and grabbed the necessary items for the procedure. By the time that we returned, Debi was flushing Max's eye with the bi-carbonate solution. Andrew and I prepared for the procedure. It first started with Andrew rounding up the necessary items: surgical scissors, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, etc... After sanitizing my hands, I proceeded to sanitize the surgical scissors. At this point, I was able to relive my dream (ok, not really, but let's just pretend for a moment) of being in an OR. With the help of my assistant, I proceeded to cut the gauze, prepare the bandage, cut the tape, and secure the dressing on our patient. f

So an interesting update to this story. Whit took Max to a local eye specialist to have his eye looked at. To make a long story short, after flushing his eye a lot, the pulled open the eyelid, while Max was held down on a gurney. Sounds likes a lot of fun. But here is the funny part. There is a deaf guy here in town that goes around selling daily newspapers. Last week when we were at lunch, he walked in the restaurant and start trying to sell news papers to all of those eating. Apparently while Max and Whit were in the operating room, this guy just walks right in. He took one look at Max and said, why is he on the gurney? He immediately turned to Whit and said "wanna buy a newspaper?" So much for health privacy laws, eh?

As mentioned in yesterdays post, I am ready to eat more variety of food. Today was the first experiment. Beans, rice, bananas, and rolls. Turned out pretty tasty, although I need to find some way to flavor the beans a little more. Only thing that I had to use today was a little bit of beef jerky and some seasonings. If you have any recommendations on how to flavor beans without the use of meat, please let me know.
So today is thursday and what does that mean? Bead market day in Koforidua. Koforidua or Kof-town as it is often called, has the biggest bead market in West Africa (or at least they claim). People will come from all over Ghana and other parts to sell their beads. In addition to beads made from Ghana, there are beads from other parts of West Africa including Nigeria, Cameroon, etc... We wandered around for a couple of hours looking at the different types of beads that were being sold. After a while, however, everything starts looking the same. I ended up making a purchase from a nice old guy. He was very funny. Everytime I would pick up a necklace or a bracelet, he would say "very old, very old." The old beads are the most valuable. I'm sure that we will visit the bead market again, but beads are not really my thing. Perhaps if I was a girl. The more interesting thing was the old coins that some of these guys were selling. At least 3 or 4 of the people selling beads also sold old coins from around West Africa. We found some as old as 1924. If I go back to the market again, I will make sure to visit those guys. While we were walking through the market, we met several nursing students from BYU. They are out here for a three week project working with a village about 90 minutes away from Kof-town. They had heard about the bead market and decide to come and give it a try. 

On the way home form the bead market, we came across a big group of people in the street outside the only department like store here in Kof-town, Melcom. There was some guy all dressed up and talking into a microphone. Everyone was having a good old time. As we walked by, things got more entertaining. He was talking in twi, which is one of the local dialects here. We couldn't really understand what he was saying, but we caught one word "obroni" Everyone started laughing and it was pretty obvious who they were talking about. I was with Debi and her son Dave, and we just all turned around and starting waving towards the group, and they laughed some more. Nice to know that we recognized as we walk down the street!!!
Tonight several us went to the Capital View hotel to have dinner. It is by far the nicest place to stay or eat in Koforidua. It is the first place that I have seen in Ghana where they give you ice for your drink. Also, their menu was fairly standard cuisine for a restaurant. Steak, chicken, chinese, etc... I decided to go ahead with the chicken cordon blu with fried yams. It was might tasty. Instead of ham in the middle, they used what they call sausage. It ended up being something similar to a hot dog. But it was great. 


Emily Poll said...

bet you never thought that your Ghana adventures would spotlight your medical talent:) crazy adventures out there for you! Love the updates and hearing about everything!! Hope you are doing well!