Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Doctors Transit Bungalow

The electricity bill on the dining room table reveals that the physicians' residence officially goes by the delightful name of the Doctors Transit Bungalow. I'm spending one last morning on the second-floor balcony here, which has become one of my favorite spots anywhere. Following a downpour earlier this morning, there's mist lying low over the green hills, with solitary trees sticking up above the canopy and bright flowers everywhere. And, as always, there's a rich variety of birdsong on the breeze.

Yesterday morning I took a long walk out into the countryside (where I noted the formidable local insects -- do not mess with the ants and bees here...) and then back through the adjacent village. In the afternoon we made an expedition to the clinic in the nearby town of Kofiase. This is one of the feeder clinics for the district hospital here in Mampong. Although resources may seem limited at the hospital, the clinic in Kofiase really has to make do with the bare minimum: no doctors, half-stocked shelves in the dispensary, no running water. The delivery room in the maternity ward left us all a little thoughtful: a bit of a grim prospect to be there as either a patient or a provider.

Last night we headed out to one of the two restaurants in Mampong, the Farmer's Cave. Far out of town on rutted roads, it's the Ghanaian equivalent of a midwestern supper club. We stuffed ourselves on jollof rice, goat meat, chicken, and yams while watching distant lightning on the horizon.

Sadly, I need to leave Mampong this morning. I'm off to Kumasi, capital of the Ashanti district, where I'll catch a flight to Accra; then tomorrow I leave for home. However, I've already been talking with the program coordinator here about the possibility of coming back for a rotation when I'm further along in my residency and get some elective time. Until then, I'll content myself with fond memories of the balcony of the Doctors Transit Bungalow.



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