In conjunction with the Drexel University WeServe program and the Drexel University School of Public Health, we will be traveling to Gambia (West Africa) this summer to do work on a number of public health projects related to maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS prevention & education, and chronic disease management.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Live from Gambia

We arrived into The Gambia Monday night and were abruptly introduced into the fast-pace hustle and bustle flow of a Gambian airport. We were soon surrounded by a number of taxi drivers and vendors trying to help us find our destination. After about 20 minutes of unease and slight worry, we finally found Mr. Kebba Badgie, CEO of the Sulayman Junkung General Hospital (SJGH). He introduced us to one of the hospital drivers, Mr. Ibrahim Tall who drove us to the Leybato Hotel where we spent the night. In the morning Mr. Tall took us to the market in Banjul. There we stocked up on water, food, phones, and other house needs.

Our first day we were caught off guard as we entered our three bedroom flat on the SJGH grounds. As we began to acclimate to our very modest living environment, we encountered a number of unforeseen impediments that catalyzed our bonding process. It began with the heat. Not your regular run of the mill, sunbathe on the beach, water ice from Rita’s heat, but the unforgiving, hot yoga type of heat that keeps you sweating like 711 (24/7). That was just the tip of the iceberg. No power, infestation of creatures, and most importantly NO RUNNING WATER soon followed.

Feeling exhausted and fed up from the night before, Mr. Badgie turned our spirits around and reminded us why we were here. His wise words accompanied by a kick of an ice cold soda provided the encouragement, excitement, and inspiration that will propel us forward on this 6-week journey.


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