Thursday, March 26, 2009

Korle-bu: The Point Of No Return

You know how I mentioned in my earlier blog about social disparities and the shock of discovering the differences… well not so much of a shock…. between the urban and rural areas? Well, I had another shock last night when I accompanied my mum the beautiful Dr. A to Korle-bu (Main Teaching Hospital in Accra) to go see my Ex-Uncle…. Lol yea I know Ex-Uncle. mmmh where was I.. Ah yes so we go see my sick Ex-uncle who was rushed to the emergency room @ Korle-bu.

So my mum takes the lead inside while I park the car, following afterwards.

I finally get there and my mum is nowhere to be found plus I can’t call her coz she has my phone and all. So the only thing I could do was wait for her at the entrance which I did.

While waiting I begin to hear someone scream and howling in pain, naturally I shouldn’t be worried coz I know they are in good hands since they are in the hospital(Obviously) but she keeps going on and on plus the nurses are sitting around not doing anything to help her coz they have already given the lady a drip. I think she should be around my age. I was like “geez” she is in so much pain I couldn’t even begin to imagine how she felt.

I started looking round and then realized that there were not enough beds for the sick patients and the staff lacked the motivation to relieve patients off their pain. Can you imagine yourself working trying your best to help your company grow while the infrastructure isn’t available, wouldn’t you find it stressful? There was another guy in a bed next to me who need blood coz he looked anemic plus he also needed surgery cos of a huge lump extending out of his lower chest area. He had just been given something to ease the pain but had been not given the blood even though he looked like he really needed it. It was a Catch-22.

But something funny and a little ironic happened as well. Earlier in the day my boss told me a story about how she sat in a taxi going to a funeral a couple of years back and the people she sat next to were bashing/talking trash about the family who were bereaved. It was only later when they all met at the house where the funeral was that they realized that my boss knew the people who they had just bashed. There was shock on and horror all over their faces.

Well the same thing happened to me at the hospital last night. So you know how my mum went in before I did right? The nurses and doctors didn’t know I came with her. I think my mum made a call to their Superior and asked her if she could get someone to look after my Ex-Uncle and if possible transfer him to ICU (Intensive care unit). Let me just say they did know my mum was a Doctor. Guess what I’m standing there waiting for my mum to show up and these Health workers are busy talking about how there’s a woman in one of the emergency rooms with a patient and she’s giving commands and how she called the boss Dr. L and trying to get the patient moved so he gets special attention. They also made a statement about how if the patient is giving extra treatment, whether they (Health workers) would get visas? So they keep going on and on till Dr. A comes and says thanks everybody for being so nice and now mentions her name and they all go silent… what gave them the final blow came.. when my mum came over to me and said she was done and that we should leave. You should have seen the look on their faces… it was golden…..I am sure they felt really stupid…

Friday, March 20, 2009

Their Life, Your Life

After what i experienced a month, ago i think i have to re-evaluate the way i see things and ease up on a lot of stuff. OK here goes..... I took a trip... a month ago, to go say whats up to ma peoples in the 9 part of town(Volta Region). so i know conditions are not really good in these rural areas... but not this bad. I mean seriously people in the urban areas compared to them are living luxurious lives and we are taking so many things for granted.We got there on Sunday 1st of February 2009, the first thing that was on my mind was a nice hot bath and comfortable bed and a socket to plug my laptop and by some stroke of luck a really nice *chop bar(local restaurant) so i fill up my stomach. Thinking like a city kid(child).

So we get to the guest house and i am like ooh ok this is not bad i can live here for 5 days.
So i ask my supervisor whether that's the place we are going to stay and she says yes..... but that's the housing for the females and the male housing is a little further down. So we get there and I'm like huh!! they always say don't judge a book by its cover but when i entered the room i realized this book can be judged by its cover... Chale the ceiling was just the Zingli(aluminium roofing sheets) there were no sockets in the room and the fan blew heat instead of a cool breeze. ooh yea before i forget there wasn't a W.C but a shweetom(pit latrine). So i tell myself if i ever wanna use the bathroom i will definitely go and use the one at the girls side and not guys. Do you know how many kids would consider this as a punishment.(boy are we spoiled).

So i set up all my stuff still disappointed about not being able to use my laptop or have a nice hot bath, but then i decide to take a walk and survey the whole area to find out what i am working with. I kinda realized all the housing in the area, well not all but most of the housings in the area were made out of mud. Seriously i counted the number of brick houses in the area and i being honest and not exaggerating it wont be more than 10 trust me.(seriously its a sharp contrast) So Monday comes and we start with the work we have to do, going round taking co-ordinates and asking question so we get to this old man and this dude asks for 30gp(22 us cents) and says he's gonna take some shots(alcohol: whisky, vodka etc) with it.... so i ask myself what kinda shots is this dude gonna take coz, in Accra i definitely know that 30gp(22 us cents) will either get you a shot of alomo(local drink) herbafrique or even no shots at all...I doubt you could even get a bottle of Coca i start to think when me and my boys go out to drink we spend more than 40ghc total at a bar. I mean not only me and my boys. Which bar or pub have u been to in Accra that has 30gp(22 us cents) worth of shots.....lets see Twist....Purple pub.....Celsbridge....HoneyS...Champs....Uncle Jerry's(East-Legon)...the list goes on and on.. If you find any let me know coz i wanna reduce cost when i step out.

You know how we always complain about how when we go out its one way(the same thing)....kinda like its always a drink up or like we are going to celsbridge or a club or something.. The people in the rural areas live a totally different lives. From what i saw and what i think, i might be wrong but i believe there's a lot of monotony and also they sleep extremely early. Some people might think i am being patronizing... but i am just trying to compare living situations and it seems like we take things for granted in the urban areas.