My first trip to Africa to volunteer in Ghana on the medical programme and it could not have been better!
I choose TMR Ghana as I had not been to Africa before. I wanted to join a medical project as I am a registered nurse and have been for 23 years. I was able to discuss how ‘hands on’ I would be before I took the plunge. That was really important for me, as I wanted to work and not just observe.
I looked at various charitable organisations on line; I liked the variety that TMR offered. The online chat and the quick email returns meant that my many questions were answered very quickly!!
The step-by-step guide, made my VISA and documents required easy to comprehend. The meeting and pick up was extremely smooth and I feIt reassured that someone was there to meet me. I found the hotel on night one and the bus journey an eye opener – the whole post flights, anticipation, tiredness, fear of the unknown and heat was tough. But I laugh about it now!
"The Nursing team at Dixcove Hospital were all very welcoming, I worked in A&E for 2 weeks and loved every minute of it !"
The first few days were great, meeting the local people, host families, work colleagues and other volunteers was great fun and I have made life long friends!! Ebenezer, Caleb and Gertie were brilliant and I felt very welcome. Nothing was too much trouble and I spent all of my spare time with them or the other volunteers that I was there with.
I only had one weekend in Busua so the other volunteers and I spent those 2 days at the local hotel swimming pool – there were many other trips we could have done but we were happy to relax for the entire weekend.
We all went to the beach after work each day. We napped, ate chatted, sun bathed, met the local children and swam until our dinner with our host families at 5:30pm. This was a lovely way to relax and reflect on our day.
Our accommodation and food were great, we couldn’t have asked for more – nothing was ever too much and the family were all interested in us. Staying with a host family was great. The lack of running water and having an outdoor shower soon became second nature to me!
The nursing team at Dixcove Hospital were all very welcoming, I worked in A&E for 2 weeks and loved every minute of it. The nurses wanted to know all about UK nursing and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing patients with illness/diseases that I would not encounter in the UK and in some cases making them well enough to go home.
I took a handful of essential medical equipment with me, the nurses loved this – so I would encourage any other nurse/doctor/health care worker to do the same. The equipment in the hospital is minimal and they are most grateful for any donations.
I am very much in contact via whatsapp with my Ghanaian colleagues and the lovely friends that I made on Busua and Dixcove. I am planning to meet up with the other nurse volunteers in June to reminisce. I am hoping to return in the not so distant future and would recommend the adventure to anyone!