Ghana, the smiling country

Approximately 6000 kilometers away from Holland my AIESEC experience started. Because of my gap year I wanted to do something. Not only travelling but also something related to my study. Then I found the Medicine Project, the perfect combination of learning in a hospital and travelling.

In October 2017, I started the Medicine Project in Ghana. Together with someone I met during the preparation days, I travelled to Kumasi, the second largest city of Ghana and our stay for the first 6 weeks. The most interesting thing about this project is to get to know the differences between Holland and Ghana. Three of these differences I noticed the most.

In the hospital, they have not a lot of instruments and less drugs then in Europe. Because of this they cannot comply with Dutch standards. However, this lack does not affect the care of the patients that bad. They will find their own way to give the best care they can. Six weeks I enjoyed working at the hospital. The people who worked there taught us so much, not only medical related, also about their culture.  Our mentor taught us stitching on an old mattress, for example. He even let us put a few stitches during an operation. Our mentor also taught us a lot about the Ghanaian culture. Together with him we were invited to a wedding of the sister of a doctor we knew from the hospital. I think one of the most amazing experiences in Ghana. Because we lived and worked 6 weeks at the same place, in the end we were integrated in this culture; doing your groceries at the same market, using the same trotro’s to go to work and being able to talk to a lot of different persons.

Ghana, not only far away in distance, also far from our western culture. While we are living in a time when it is normal to travel the world twice, some people in Ghana have never seen another village except from their own. Asking about sightseeing is useless because they have never done it themselves. This is only one example, but it made me realize that in our culture, we’re not happy anymore with the things we should be happy about (for instance travelling) and we just follow the crowd.  We always want more and travelling is only a part of this. With this in mind I hope to be able to gain a little of this Ghanaian mind-set and I’m trying to look at things differently.

The last difference is the something I think is the most beautiful characteristic of Ghanaian people. In Ghana people from all different religions live next to each other. In Ghana people who are rich and people who are poor live next to each other. And they all accept the others. Maybe that’s the reason that Ghana is a smiling country.

 

This post was written by Tess Bulten. Tess went on a voluntary project with AIESEC in the Netherlands. We offer international voluntary projects and professional internships with the aim of developing leadership in youth. 

Read more
Organising the Global Health Cycle

Organising the Global Health Cycle

Hi! My name is Julia and I am the Selection, Preparation and Reintegration Manager of the Medicine Project. Roel Hulsman (the SPR Manager of the Health Project) and I created the Global Health Cycle to keep our exchange participants engaged with AIESEC in times of...

The power of cultural intelligence

The power of cultural intelligence

A third type of intelligence, only introduced after the start of the 21st century, is CQ; Cultural Quotient, or cultural intelligence. Every person’s cultural expression (e.g. their way of speech, beliefs, norms, body language, rituals and so on) are influenced by the cultural society they are or used to be part of. Due to this unique, intrinsic collection of culture every person carries with them, we are all different.

Connect Youth: Purpose Driven Networking

Connect Youth: Purpose Driven Networking

Covid-19 triggered us to be more creative in finding ways to finding new ways to create value for our members and to make use of the possibilities that the online world has to offer. Hence, we wanted to create an inspiring online network event for our members. An opportunity for them to connect to the national network and to get to know different types of organisations in a valuable way.

What is Climate Change?

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is defined as a shift in the average conditions of global or regional climate patterns over approximately 30 years. This causes global warming and unexpected weather conditions in every country on every continent.

6 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

6 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

Ugh, Corona, right?  I mean, it has been going through our conversations all year. And this small thing has kept us home for such a long time. OH MY GOD! I felt like my brain had lost its will to work for the longest time. However, this blog will hopefully help you to...

6 Simple Tips to Contribute to a More Sustainable World

6 Simple Tips to Contribute to a More Sustainable World

We only have one planet. If we continue to behave like we have in the last years, this planet as we know it will not exist for our off-spring. If this misuse of the resources continues in the future, chances are that our planet might become like the other seven...

Una experiencia para nunca olvidar

Una experiencia para nunca olvidar

At the start of July 2019, my sister and I took the big leap to pack our bags and visit our family in Colombia. During this time I was still deciding on doing a volunteering job for AIESEC. It was my luck to have my sister as my AIESEC exchange participant manager....

The Importance of Self Awareness for a Leader

The Importance of Self Awareness for a Leader

We often try to identify our existence with our position in society, friends and family, our desires of our body and the emotional and intellectual expressions of our mind. For instance, we might introduce ourselves as ‘I am a business administration student, I have...

Interested?

Take the first step.

Book a free consultation call in one of our cities to explore your opportunities!