Field Work

So we’ve selected our site to be in a collection of communities near Asesewa in Eastern Region. Yesterday, we went out to see our community partner, an organization called KLO Drivers Alliance, and meet some of the community health volunteers. It was a 15 hr day with 8 hrs of travel, but very interesting. The rural communities are in a very pleasant area, lush with trees and at a somewhat higher elevation than Accra. It was like a day in the country.

I seemed to only catch transportation photos. We first took a 2.5 hr tro-tro from Accra to Koforidua at 6:30am. Then we transferred to a shared taxi, which we entirely commandeered, to take us on the one hour trip to Asesewa. In Asesewa, we hired a taxi to take us down the very rough dirt road to the community office. That road looks like it does bad things to the cars that drive on it.

Julia and I got to take a long walk through one of the nearby communities with two of the community health volunteers to estimate the number of people in each compound. The community is comprised of about 85 individual compounds that are separated by narrow paths through the dense forest. It’s really nice, actually. Each compound is tucked away in its own clearing surrounded by fruit and vegetable trees/bushes. It’s a farming community so the requisite sheep, goats, and chickens wander around making a ruckus as well. Nice spots. We talked to about 20 homes. The average size was around 6-7 people and virtually none of them (2) had a mosquito net. It looks like we will do a lot of good here.

At one home, we were very kindly offered some boiled corn. We accepted, as we didn’t want to be rude. We saw where the water comes from, though. Little kids fill large tubs at a dirty stream and then walk them up to the compounds on their heads. Given our recent spat with what appears to have been a bacterial infection (Cipro cleared it up), and the sad fact that even boiling water doesn’t kill all bacterial, we weren’t really interested in eating this corn. Julia threw hers in the bushes and promptly said she liked it so much she already finished. I went a more conservative route, took three bites (a rough estimate of the maximum exposure to bacterial that I felt I could withstand at that moment), and offered it to the community health volunteers after explaining that we white people had weak stomaches or something like that. It worked, I think. At least we didn’t get sick!

Rough roads

A typical tro-tro. You can be sure it will be packed because they won't leave unless it's full!

This is the most beat up car I've ever seen and it's still running

Then we took the same beat up taxi back...with 7 people packed in.

This entry was posted in africa, development, Ghana culture, health, malaria, wtf. Bookmark the permalink.

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