Report by Tinne Kips

When I first arrived it was really hard to adapt to the habbits, routines, culture of the Ghanaian people. You do not really realise yet you are away from home but after a week you start to feel comfortable. You except the fact you are going to be there for some months and you start to know the people, the corners in Tamale, things to see, things to do, you see the place where you are going to do your volunteer work or practical training. The thing that was really weird in the beginning was to except that you suddenly have other people hanging around you. Your hostfamily, the volunteers of REVSODEP …

So the feelings I had in the beginning or feeling I cannot describe. Feelings of homesickness, of isolation, … . but two weeks later and when I look back now it was a wonderful time. Almost every day I worked in the hospital. Treating patients, building up an occupational therapeutically area and trying to let the local people understand what we were doing. That was quiet difficult, because everybody was busy with is own patients and it was quiet calm at the hospital but still, you see that people or interested in new things, want to see how the same thing can be done in a different way.

When my work at the hospital was completed, I had time to travel and see some more of Ghana. The thing what I really like of REVSODEP is that they support you, and the volunteers and the staff crew want to do some things with you out of the working time. At some evenings we went for a drink with Fidelis, or we were invited for a baptism, or a picnic on Easter Monday. You never felt alone in Tamale. Some other positive things was, that if you wanted to go and travel it was no problem. You just go, and Fidelis will call you to see how you are doing, or you call him to tell him you are fine and things like that. He really looks after you.

If you are interested to do some volunteer work, don’t doubt. You will regret it if you let this chance blow away.

I cannot say more then just go for it. It is a nice experience and you keep a lot of good memories for the rest of your life.

I can remember me everything in detail. The feeling of showering with a bucket of cold water, water of the pipelines that opens one’s a week, the electricity that falls out for some period of time, the gentle people who always want to help you and want the best for you, the nice relaxed culture. Ghana is a country were everything needs time. It is frustrating in the beginning, because you have to wait for people for one hour, two hours, … . but you get used to that and at the end it is great. When I got home I had difficulties to adapt to the culture of the stress, and everything has to be in time and things like that.

But also that you are getting used to it quickly. So do not hesitate and just step on that plane and leave to GHANA.

Tinne Kips

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