A Journey Home is the story of my mother’s experiences working as a nurse in a health clinic for the under-served in Ghana, West Africa. Click here to begin with the first entry of “The Journey Home”
In addition to Mama’s letters to me and her journal notes, she regularly sent a newsletter to all the churches and individuals who supported her with funds and prayers. The newsletters provide an overall picture of her life in Ghana. The newsletter from October, 1989 was her first and is quite long. I’ve broken it up into three posts. This is the first.
Oct. 27, 1989
Greetings form Ghana, W. Africa
Letters from Tennessee are extolling the beauty of fall, my favorite season. Ghana weather is always August! either dry or wet, but ever hot. I was so thankful the used air conditioner could be repaired and installed this week. At least I will rest well at night.
I am so confident many of you have been praying for me, because my health remains good and I seem to be adjusting well. I started seeing patients Sept. 30. I have had to do lots of studying.Tropical diseases are quite different to America’s health problems. Manson’s textbook on tropical diseases is just 800 pages! And then there are medications under totally new names — so – I’m hitting the books again.
Before I left home, African Christian Hospitals sent me to a workshop in Indiana. This was devoted to lab work in a third world setting using very basic equipment without electricity or running water. I’m anxious to begin practicing with this equipment and feel it can be very useful to our situation here.
My work is cut out for me – seeing patients, supervising the Ghanaian nurses (hoping they will want to learn from me), overseeing pharmacy supplies, striving to be sensitive and understanding. So – keep praying for me.
Our staff at present is small. We are looking forward to January when we expect three more – a husband and wife from Arizona (Curtis and Norma) and a nurse from Canada (Avril).
Bob and Beth Williams, Walt Griffith, and I comprise the staff now. Bob is clinic administrator, teaches agriculture and is involved in numerous other projects. Beth is clinic secretary and always the gracious hostess to the continuous flow of Ghanaians to see Bob. They are spoiling me! Every effort has been made for me to feel welcome and “settling in” as easy as possible.
Beth and and I are becoming very good friends – shopping, cooking, planning together, and of course, engaging in lots of grandmother talk to comfort each other.
Walt has been busy organizing and inventorying supplies sent from the states and buying medications. Most meds must be purchased in Accra – 4 hours away – to find enough at the lowest price, And even at that, after going to four or five different suppliers all the needed medicines are not found. Many drugs we use in our clinic Americans can buy without prescription in drugstores or Walmart. These medicines are sold to the patients at a very low price. We limit the amount and try to be judicious, so as not to encourage reselling.
Newsletter continued next Wednesday.
Mama’s health was one of her concerns in this tropical climate. She was so thankful she was able to cope with the heat. Later she had some bouts with malaria, but good health in the early days of her stay gave her confidence.
I am thankful for feeling better today after two days of flu-like symptoms. It is so easy to take good health and energy for granted. Thank you God for today’s blessing.