Monday, January 17, 2011
Today was the longest day of work so far and the farthest we had to travel. I am beyond exhaustion. We drove a total of 7 ½ hours, 3 hours there and with traffic it took us longer to get back. Our drive out there consisted mainly of dirt roads, hence the length of driving time. When we arrived in Akoase, we were amazed at our sight. The church was overfilled with patients, between 150-200 were waiting. The patients do not have appointments; they merely wait until we arrive. Everyone looked so happy when we finally got there. The introduction was made by Dennis and we all introduced ourselves, there were a total of 11 of us this time, the most so far. After the introduction, everyone in the church clapped and I felt as if the clapping should be for the staff that continually worked these outreaches throughout the year, not for us volunteers who were working on a short term basis. I have such respect and admiration for the staff at the clinics, they have these schedules all year round, and my schedule was for 10 days. I wish all the donors could see how hard they work and the results that one sees in these outreach clinics. All the staff are so humble. During lunch time, one of the villagers brought us all meat pies and a malt drink. I am always amazed when they feed us too. We were at the church, where the outreach clinic was set up, for about 5 hours. It was great seeing patients able to put their glasses on and read right away, they had a grin from ear to ear. I loved that part. After all the patients were seen, we headed to the pastor of the villages home to introduce ourselves. He was on the porch of his house putting his shirt on as we approached. After the introductions, pictures, we headed back to Accra. The drive was nerve wrecking. All the dirt roads were filled with semi trucks, no lanes and dust in the air everywhere. All I saw looking out the front window was dust and lights. Then we would pass trucks overloaded to the brim with wares. I have seen 3 trucks overturned so far, and can understand why now. All the trucks are so overloaded, and then they drive these dirt roads with potholes everywhere. Cars/semis were driving slalom style to avoid the potholes, so you have all these cars driving slalom style in different directions on a dusty dark road. I was so nervous, every time we passed a truck I sighed. With all the dust, I could barely see cars or trucks in front of us. We were within inches of a truck and I always prayed the truck wouldn’t lose all wares from the bed. Ugh. We made it out alive. My husband would be proud how together I was during this drive; I am usually a nervous wreck during traffic like this. I actually could not believe how many semis were driving on these pothole filled dirt roads, crazy. So we got home really late and will be driving to another outreach tomorrow. I have only been gone a week, but I have to say I really miss my family at this point.