Crocodiles, village visits and leaving King's Village


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Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale
May 21st 2010
Published: May 21st 2010
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Since my last blog entry two weeks ago I have spent many hours in surgery at the medical centre, travelled to Northern Ghana where I sat on a crocodile, taken a motorbike on a canoe to a remote village and left the King’s Village for Accra. And time really has gone that fast! I have only one week left in Ghana and much planned so I’ll fill you in on the details of my comings and goings over the last two weeks.

During my last week and a half at the King’s Village I continued to work in the medical centre and teach occasional science lessons in the school. The medical centre has been getting gradually busier as the rainy season has descended. The most noticeable increase is with cases of malaria and snakebites - both of which seem to affect children more than adults. This has meant that resources have been very stretched at the medical centre and at one point we almost ran out of anti-snake venom (I was especially careful that week!). Theatre has also been busier which has meant that I’ve spent several long days operating with the other surgeons. I have been really enjoying the surgical aspect of my time in the King’s Village and as I said in my last blog I’ve been very fortunate in gaining so much hands on experience.

Last weekend I took the metro bus up to a city called Bolagtanga in the Northern Region of Ghana and then headed on to a town called Navrongo near the Burkina Faso border. I spent most of Saturday exploring the area and visiting the famous crocodile ponds in Paga. Here you can buy a live fowl and feed it to a crocodile, oh and you can also sit on the crocodile!! I had heard from a few good sources that this was safe so I decided to give it a go - check out the photos! I then had a tour around the local historic Pikworo slave camp and spent the rest of the day wondering around Navrongo and sampling the local foods at one of the many ‘chop bars’.

After the weekend away I settled back into a normal routine at the King’s Village and spent Monday at the medical centre and then oddly enough teaching the school teachers about teaching techniques in teaching human biology (shame I couldn’t squeeze a 4th ‘teaching’ in).

On Tuesday I joined Moses, head of the water sanitation project, on a trip to a local village called Singa where he had arranged a meeting with the village chief and other village elders about improving their water supply. As a result of bad roads and a river crossing we had to take a motorbike. This was great fun as it’s the first time I’ve spent more than 5 minutes on the back of a motorbike and probably the last time I will cross a river in a canoe, motorbike and all! Once we arrived in the village we were greeted by the locals and after distributing crayons to the kids and talking with some of the elders we meet the village chief and started the meeting. It was amazing to sit amongst such traditional men and women as they discussed the possibility of improving their water supply and education provision for the local children. The whole meeting was in Dagbani, the local language, and so I didn’t understand a word of it but Moses kindly summarised as they went along. After visiting the village I spent the rest of the day saying goodbye to folks and packing, as it was my last day in the King’s Village.

I left for Accra, Ghana’s Capital, on Wednesday and have since toured around the city and even eaten my first American-style burger in 7 weeks (sad I know, but it’s the simple things!). I intend to see the Eastern and Volta regions during the next week before I leave and so will likely update the blog when I return home.

Until next time!



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Me eating a giant snail!Me eating a giant snail!
Me eating a giant snail!

I saw these at the side of the road and couldn't resist buying them to try - albeit not raw!


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