I made my first trip to Akropong on Saturday. I traveled on a bus for a few hours with a group of roughly 20 Ghanaians for a medical outreach. When we reached Akropong, we split up into 2 groups. Two-thirds of the group helped at a blind school while I joined the group serving the village near the chief’s palace. I admit that I chose not to serve at the blind school in case many of them didn’t speak English, because they also wouldn’t be able to follow my hand signals. I’ve encountered the language barrier before, especially in more rural areas, and hand signals have been very helpful in the past. I just didn’t want someone to be assigned to me as a translator for the whole day.
In the village, I worked the pharmacy area—helping to distribute free medication to nearly 175 people with varying complaints and illnesses. The oldest person I served was a 98 year old lady being led around by her husband since her cataracts caused her to go blind. It was a sweet sight. I told my friend ahead of time that I’d never met a chief before. There really weren’t any introductions made, but my friend pointed out the chief. He wasn’t elaborately dressed that day, but he was the only one in his group with gray hair. However, the group of volunteers was treated to snack and lunch inside a room in the large, white palace. The small room where we ate contained the chief’s throne. Like an obruni and foreigner, I just had to take a picture!