My first look at Budukrom, a village so small that its name doesn’t even appear on a Ghanaian map, came from inside a van slowly approaching by a dirt road emerging from between the tall grasses. Most of the homes were block structures constructed from the local dirt and clay, giving them the same reddish-brown color as the ground at their bases. The roofs were made from dried grass, identifying for me the use of the large grass bundles I’d seen carried by several men on their backs and heads. The grass, a ready commodity in the area during the rainy season, is easily gathered along roadsides and other areas with a machete.
I was eager to help Meaningful Life International, Acts in Afrika, and a small short-term team from the UK in any way I could during the first medical outreach to Budukrom. This was our opportunity to not only help with the basic medical needs of the village, but to also assess more specifically what the villagers needs are—medical problems common to the village, sources of drinking water, etc. I was one of very few obrunis and was both surprised and impressed to see that most of the volunteers were Ghanaian. The volunteers consisted of doctors, nurses, other health professionals, medical residents, nursing students, and professionals from other medically unrelated fields. I was going to learn more about this remote part of the Eastern Region 2 ½ hours from Accra located on the far side of Lake Volta.