Our Arrival and Getting Settled in Ghana

By Lianne Novak

We left the USA on July 1 flying out of Detroit with a layover in New York (JFK).  We got into Accra on Monday morning at about 8am.  The plane deplaned from both the front door and back door in Accra. Customs was a breeze, and Andrew met us once we got our bags and were through customs.

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[Team Ghana Before Getting on the Plane in Detroit]

Accra is a beautiful city and is the capital of Ghana.  We stayed at the Airport View hotel which was about a five minute ride from the airport. Andrew took us to the Accra Mall, which is just like any mall in the States.  We got cheap Ghanaian cell phones (think a basic phone from around 2003), exchanged money, and had lunch at a local “chain” fast-food type restaurant.  They serve various chicken meals, some of them come with rice, and bottled soda.  The hotel is beautiful, and the staff was wonderful.  We were able to meet with one of Sonja’s contacts, Akwesi, in the afternoon.  He is actually moving to the States in August, but he was able to connect us with some other people at KNUST who could talk to her more about biomedical engineering projects that future Pavlis students could work on.  We all watched one of the World Cup games and had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant buffet.  The hotel also had a breakfast buffet which had rice and little sausages at it, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

We took one of the hotel’s vans to the VIP bus station where we were able to catch a bus to Sunyani.  The seats were huge, and some reclined (others no longer worked); it was like “the old” First Class. The traffic in Kumasi is very heavy.  It’s like getting around Chicago, but on surface roads; there are no interstates.  We went through Kumasi, stopping at a gas station that was attached to a KFC (yes, I mean Kentucky Fried Chicken is sold in Kumasi!).  Every town and village has speed bumps as a way of controlling the speed limit. Some of these bumps are massive, while other villages have 3 bumps in a row.  Each town/village has multiple speed bump locations.  I think we all thought that the bus ride was bumpy, but our view of “bumpy” would change the next day.

Nana (Emmanuel’s wife) met us at the bus station in Sunyani and helped us move into our hostel room.  We’re on the 4th floor, and have 2 rooms with a shared bathroom at the back of the hallway.  We went to the Eusbett hotel, where Andrew is staying to have dinner with him and Nana; Emmanuel was out of town that night, so we weren’t able to meet him.  Our group got a Hawaiian pizza, and most of the group tried some Ghanaian beer.  Drinking age is 18 here, and it amazes me that nobody that orders beer is asked for some ID.

The next day we ate breakfast at the Eusbett hotel, met Emmanuel’s nephew (also named Emmanuel), and then took a taxi to the Wednesday Market (it’s insanely busy!) to catch a tro-tro going to Dorma, a little town (or village?) about 20 minutes away from Babianeha.  The tro-tro is an old 15 passenger van, and they stuff as many people in one row as possible (this can mean 14-18 people).  Since the van is old, and has now been a tro-tro for a while, it has virtually no suspension, so you feel every pothole, and speed bump.  The visit in Babianeha itself was very nice.  We were able to meet Emmanuel’s extended family, and some of them showed us around the village, and helped us (legally) cross in to Cote d’Ivoire.  The town Gronnokron is a little town that straddles the border with Ghana.  You can visit the town without having to go through Cote d’Ivoire customs.  We also met some of the teachers at the school.  The school kids got very excited to see “Obrunis” (aka not Ghanaians).

We ended up getting snacks on the way out of town since we missed lunch, and then caught a bus to Dorma, and tro-tro back to Sunyani. After we washed up, we returned to the Eusbett for dinner, and got to meet Emmanuel (Nana’s husband).  It was the 4th of July (American Independence Day).

Thursday, we stayed in Sunyani.  We were able to meet up with Emmanuel (Nana’s husband), and he took us to the Ridge Experimental School (one of the schools that Josh will be doing a workshop at).  We also went to the Central Market to purchase some items that we needed for the hostel.  We got some bottled water, toilet paper, rice, onions, garlic, soap, and clothes pins.

We went to Kumasi on Friday, where we said goodbye to Andrew, and met with Josephine, Isaac and Solomon, and Dr. Ahmed at KNUST. Akwesi knew Josephine and connected Sonja with her.  Sonja and Andrew were able to talk to them about the possibility of future Pavlis students collaborating with KNUST for biomedical engineering projects, and what this would mean for both Tech and KNUST.  After we were done with our meeting, we said goodbye to Andrew and he departed for the VIP bus station to catch a bus back to Accra.  The students took us around campus, showing us different buildings, and the ventilator that Akwesi and previous Pavlis students worked on.  They took us to a little café on campus called Icy Cup and treated us to yogurt smoothies.  Once we wrapped up at KNUST, Emmanuel’s driver drove us back home.  Traffic was insane in Kumasi (of course), and I’ve noticed that checking your blind spots or mirrors is a foreign idea in Ghana.  When we got home Charles and Josh made us dinner from the bell peppers, onions and rice that we bought at the market.

Yesterday (Saturday) we went to Melcom, a Walmart like store in the middle of Sunyani.  We purchased some packaged food (like Pringles) and also got some household items that we couldn’t find (or forgot to get) at the market.  We all kind of expected to walk into a Walmart, so I think we were all a little surprised when we found out that the store is 3 or 4 levels high, and doesn’t have a very big floorplan. In the evening, Emmanuel came over and taught us how to make fried yam.  He brought some fish and tomato sauce that we could use with the fried yam, which were thick and crunchy.  He also boiled some of the yam, too, which was kind of like eating a baked potato.

Next week we are hoping to do a few Women’s Health and STEM workshops at the Ridge Experimental School here in Sunyani, as well as travel to Babianeha for a few days where we will also do a few workshops and stay with Emmanuel’s extended family.

Thank you for following our journey so far!

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A Long-expected Journey

This post was a team effort!  We each wrote our own biography, and Charles wrote the first part of the post.  Lianne wrote the second part about our team activities.  We all look forward to contributing to the blog while we are in Ghana next month.

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Me kyea mo [I greet you] and welcome to the first travel blog of Team Ghana. Seeing as we are still a ways away from officially beginning our journey in country, we’ll start with a brief crash-course in Ghanaian history, as well the backgrounds of the team members and what projects they will be heading up in the future.

Map of Ghana
Map of Ghana

The modern state of Ghana has its roots in the 9th century, as a local trade powerhouse and continued to hold a place of power within the region until the advent of european colonization in the 1500’s. After the end of the second world war, the political landscape was in constant upheaval, transitioning from a constitutional republic to military junta and back again until the turn of the 21st century. Today Ghana is one of the fastest growing economies on the continent, with an 8.7% GDP growth and one of Africa’s largest stock exchanges. Additionally the country boasts a multicultural populace, with a mix of ethnic groups such as the Guan, Akan and Ashanti residing within the borders of the country. The region in which we’ll be operating out of will be in the Brong-Ahafo Region, which is mainly populated by the Akan people who speak the Twi [Ch-wi] language.

Lianne Novak
Lianne Novak

My name is Lianne Novak, and I’m going into my fourth year at Michigan Tech (fall 2018), and am a general mathematics major, looking to complete minors in statistics and Leadership (through the Pavlis Honors College). Outside of academics, I’m involved with the Huskies Pep Band and am a tour guide through the Admission’s Office.  I enjoy watching Huskies volleyball and hockey, snowshoeing (in the winter) and enjoying coffee at Biggby, or Pannakaku at Suomi’s with friends.

I’m organizing and planning the Women’s Health project.  It’s centered around teaching girls in some of the communities to make reusable sanipads.  Girls in past years have had to miss school every month, simply because they don’t have access to any sanitary products.  We use materials that the girls can get in country, and will be giving them a kit for the workshop, but they can keep the extra materials (sewing needles, scissors, and possibly extra fabric if I can purchase enough for two pads/ girl).  Also, in the past the girls have learned how handwashing and sanitation is important.  I am going to try and expand this portion of the workshop this year. Thinking about going to graduate school in Biostatistics, I took an introduction to Epidemiology class this spring.  My instructor, Dr. Kelly Kamm in the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology department here at Tech, did her PhD dissertation on hand washing and the prevention of disease in young children. She talked to us about the importance of hand washing, especially around young kids who are at higher risk for diarrhea and pneumonia.  These are two leading causes of death in children under 5.  Most of the girls I work with in Ghana will be mothers one day, and so it will be important for them to know about what keeping their hands clean can mean for their young children.

Sonja Welch
Sonja Welch

My name is Sonja Welch, and I’m going into my fourth year of Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. I’m from Baraga, MI, and I love reading, being in the outdoors, spending time with friends, staying active, and watching movies. I’m a member of the Undergraduate Student Advisory Board within the Pavlis Honor’s College, the Vice President of Philanthropy for Delta Zeta, and the Fundraising Officer for Medlife. In addition to that, I also work in the Math Learning Center and the Engineered Biomaterials Lab. This summer, I’m going to be in charge of finding new projects in Ghana for future Pavlis cohorts. I plan to do this by facilitating Design Thinking Workshops, setting up meetings, and interviewing people in country. I will also be checking up on past projects, including the medical van, and working on finding new ways to make these facilities useful for the Ghanaian community.

Charles Fugate
Charles Fugate

Hi, my name is Charles Fugate and I’ll be going into my third year at Michigan Tech this coming Fall. I’m currently majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Anthropology, with a minor in leadership. I enjoy exploring the Keweenaw, playing games with my friends, and listening to podcasts like 99% Invisible and Lore. I currently work as a Student Manager at the Memorial Union Building on campus, and will be a Multi-literacy Center Coach in the Fall. During our trip to Ghana during the summer I will be doing research into the folklore of the Akan people which will hopefully go into a repository that both Ghanaian’s and people on the internet can access, and that future cohorts can add to. I look forward to setting up a project that I can really sink my teeth into, and that allows me to get an in-depth look at the cultural values and tradition of Ghanaians. Additionally, I hope this will open up new avenues for future social science based projects for future cohorts.

Josh Undlin
Josh Undlin

I’m Josh Undlin, a 3rd year Mechanical Engineering Major with minors in Aerospace Engineering and Global Leadership. I’m from Canton, Michigan and plan on working in the aerospace industry after I graduate. When I’m not doing school work, I enjoy hanging out with friends, reading, and spending time in the outdoors. I’m a member of Michigan Tech’s Aerospace Enterprise and work as an Assistant Desk Coordinator at the reception desks on campus. Additionally, I’m a member of Mind Trekkers, an organization that travels around the country in an effort to get kids of all ages interested in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. I plan on using my Mind Trekkers experience in Ghana with my main project being working with schools in the city of Sunyani and the village of Babianaha to promote STEM education and encourage creativity in the classroom. I’m also leading the team in getting resources for the community center in Babianaha and identifying possible projects at this site for future cohorts.

We Earlier this month we spent a weekend at McLain State Park with the Tanzania travel group, as well.  We made some s’mores our second night, spent some time on the beach, and rediscovering our childhood at the playground.  We also had a traditional Ghanaian dinner with our teaching assistant, Edzordzi.  A photo of the four of us with our sparkling juice and dinner is below.  The food is called “Banku ne nkrumakuan.”  It has a tomato based soup with okra.  Edzordzi said that in Ghana the okra would be fresh, but he used blended canned okra in the soup.  He made some salmon filets, and used Semolina to make the “bread like dough” that was representing Banku.  You eat it with your hand (your right or “clean” hand), by pinching off some Banku and then scooping up some soup.

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Rachel and Raspberry Pi

During week 5, we spent our time with the extended family of our in country contact Emmanuel Opuni at their family compound in Babianeha.

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While staying with the family, the plan was to have two women’s health clinics, one in the local school, and the other at a government women’s health building along the Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire border, to have an engineering workshop at the local school, and to set up and teach community members how to use the Rachel Pi and Raspberry Pi’s in the community center that was built by a previous Pavlis team a few years ago.

The focus of this blog post is on the Raspberry Pi’s. The project involved using the Rachel Pi as an offline repository of teaching videos, books, articles, and life skills exercises for the school kids and the community to use. The Raspberry Pi’s were to be used as a means to access the Rachel Pi, and also supplement the netbooks that are already within the community center while allowing two more students to have a workstation they can use during ICT class.

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Due to the nature of the Raspberry PI project (project lead – Daniel), the ‘measure of success’ is mainly if the items work during setup, because it is up to the teachers how and when they integrate this tool into their teaching arsenal. It is our hope that the students can use the modules like Khan Academy Lite to reinforce things they learn in class like algebra and biology with informational videos and the little quizzes it provides.

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Hospitals, Workshops, and more Hospitals (everyone is okay!)

First off, the team apologizes for our lack of update over the last two weeks after a couple of hospital visits (a nasty fall ending in stitches and a not great reaction to anti malaria medication) projects had to be moved back which caused a hectic last two weeks. We joke with our in country advisor that we’re the most hospital visiting team he’s ever had. We’ll break this blog down with the Women’s Health project and the next with the Computer Literacy Project, the main two projects completed in the final two weeks of our journey.

During Week 4 plans were finalized for everything in regards to the first Women’s Health Project. The original goal of having 5 different workshops didn’t look like it would be happening because of some communication issues with my in country contact but I was able to schedule one through my in country contact and another two with newly made contacts. Overall, the plan was to do one in Kumasi, Babianeha and right on the border of the Ivory Coast.

All three workshops went extremely well and ranged in time from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the group. There were girls from ages 11-25 excited to learn about sustainable women’s health products and germs. I made sure to have an interpreter present to ensure the girls understand everything I said even though all their formal education is in English here.

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Each pack had 1 pre-made reusable pad donated from a church in the United States and enough materials to make two simpler reusable pads. As they were making their first pad and the interpreter and I walked around the room to assist them in the process and answer any questions they might have. I also had the opportunity to talk to them about what means they had used or knew of other girls using and some of the options were heart breaking and included things like an old towel or pieces of old mattresses.

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At the end of every session I asked the girls if what we made during the workshop was a better means of dealing with their monthly cycles and every time all the hands in the room went up to agree that it was. After the workshops some of the girls would come up to ask further questions about materials and other differences they could substitute into the process to make it easier, a lot of them couldn’t wait to go home and show all their female family members! It truly made it seem like this project had made such a significant difference in many girls lives.

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At the end of my time 200 packs were handed out to girls from Ghana and in the Ivory Coast and one group even had a special message to some of our supporters thanking them for their support! Unfortunately the file refuses to upload to look out for that in our overall video we’ll put together of our time in Ghana once we arrive back in the States.

Until next time!
-Amanda

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Project Success and Kumasi

This week, we returned to Ridge Experimental School, the Sunyani Regional Hospital, and spent the weekend in Kumasi.

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At the Ridge Experimental School, we introduced engineering to a different group of students. The students had the same reaction as the first group; very excited, creative, and had a ton of fun. We did the same activity as last time. We separated the students into groups and gave them straws, tape, and scissors to build any type of bridge they wanted. We are very proud to have such an amazing response from the students!

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At the Sunyani Regional Hospital, we returned to check up on the beds in ICU and looked into a broken ultrasound machine. We ended up finding out that one of the capacitors on the power supply had blown. We unsoldered the broken component and are looking to replace it to get the ultrasound back up and running!

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Our trip to Kumasi was very successful. We were able to meet with our women’s health project contact to set up a women’s health workshop and we met with the engineers at KNUST working in collaboration with the IGS Enterprise at Michigan Tech on the ventilator. We also did a lot of souvenir shopping, went to a Ghanaian club and sung “Opps I Did It Again” for karaoke night, ate at KFC (yes, Kumasi has a Kentucky Fried Chicken!), went to the new City Mall that opened in January, went to the Okomfo Anokye Sword Site Museum, and toured the Palace Museum were the King of the Asante Region lives!! The museums helped us learn a lot about the history of Ghana and we cannot wait to learn more! Upon our return to Sunyani, we had the opportunity to go to church with our in country advisor Emmanuel!

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Kids, Crocodiles, and the Hospital!

No one was harmed in the content of this blog post. Here is team Ghana and these are their stories:(Insert Law & Order Special Effects)

Although week two started off with an unexpected Ghanaian holiday, (Republic Day was July 1st but Monday was the observed holiday) we have accomplished a lot. We started two of our projects which include introducing engineering to the students at Ridge Experimental School and working with Sunyani Regional Hospital to identify issues and take inventory of the medical devices that were not working properly.

Engineering Education

The goal of Engineering Education is to spark an engineering interest in the minds of Ghanaian students. Our first experience with this project, was working with the students at Ridge Experimental School. We started the class off with an ice breaker to loosen the students up by throwing around a balloon with questions on it. When they caught the balloon, they had to say their name and answer the question that their thumb landed on. The student smiled and laughed as we did this. We then asked the students engaging questions such as: Do you know what engineering is? Does anyone know an engineer? What do you know of that has been engineered? We gave them a simple definition of engineering: Working together to create/develop and improve ANYTHING! The activity we gave to the students was to build a bridge. We organized them into groups (6 groups of 10 students – yes, these classes are big) and gave each team straws, tape, and scissors. Now keep in mind that typical classes here are taught only through lectures, so this concept is new to them. Most students started grabbing at the materials right away, but we still showed them an example bridge to get them started. The students discussed designs with each other, worked together in determining who was going to build which part of the bridge, and then collaborated when they placed the pieces together – or they all worked on the bridge as one piece together. We were thrilled to see how well this was going – meaning that the students were having fun and being creative! It took all of the teams about 30-40 minutes to finish their bridges and when they were done, we introduced the design, build, and test procedure to them. We explained how they already designed and built the bridge, now they had to test it. We did this by calling each team up one-by-one to test to see if their bridge could hold weight. The students jumped around and cheered if the bridge held up or not – the amount of support between the students was amazing. We ended the class by telling the students that they can do anything if they put their minds to! We are very excited to work with many more classes and different schools!

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Medical Technological Servicing

The goal of Medical Technological Servicing is to assist the engineers at Sunyani Regional Hospital by looking at the medical equipment that has not been working properly, downloading manuals of the equipments, and taking an inventory of parts they might not be able to get in Ghana. Our first task was to look at two x-ray machines in the radiology department that were not functioning properly. The first x-ray machine had a table that the locking mechanism did not engage properly. The second x-ray machine was an orthodontic x-ray machine that had its control remote dropped so many times that it was beyond repair. The next department we visited was the Laboratory in which a chemical micro-analyzer was not working. After going through the manual and looking at every inch of the machine, we cleared a communication error with the computer! After the machine was able to communicate with the computer, another error popped up that was a sensor error reading that the water tank was empty when it was not. We went back later this week and visited the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) to try and diagnose the problems with a few of the beds there as they were not able to move up and down. After careful triage, we realized that one of the control arms was not attached to the motor underneath so we reconnected it and it worked perfectly! In addition, the ICU staff described that the beds did not work unless they were plugged into a wall. We were able to go into the battery and see that they were not connected properly. At the end of the day, we were able to fix both beds and the battery problem!! We can’t wait to continue our journey with the hospital!

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African Safari

After a successful first week, we went to Mole National Park to go on a African Safari and we visited Paga to tour the Chief’s Crocodile Pond! On the safari we got to see elephants, antelope, guinea fowl, a monitor lizard, kob (deer like), and monkeys! We got to get out of the vehicle to take pictures in front of the elephants! We spent the night at a hostel about 45 minutes south of Paga to refresh before seeing the crocodiles. At the crocodile pond, we got to take pictures sitting on the crocodile and holding the crocodile’s tail – the crocodile was cold, slimy, and hard! Bonus: we also got to tour the chief’s house as well as his compound. There we were able to climb on top of their roofs, dance with some children, and buy some souvenirs! Also on the way back to Sunyani, we briefly stopped at Pikworo Slave Camp where slaves were held until their final destination of Cape Coast.

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Projects, Contacts, and a Goat!

We arrived in Sunyani on June 27th where we will be living for the next five weeks to work on a variety of projects that include women’s health education, medical technological servicing, engineering classes/activities, computer literacy, and an IGS Ventilator. 

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Here the girls are standing in Cote d’Ivoire and the boys are standing in Ghana. The picture was taken in a village which is on the border of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The rock structure represents the two countries coming together.

Women’s Health Education: 

Team Lead: Amanda Moya

As in previous years, a project involving proper feminine hygiene education as a means of eliminating one obstacle every woman faces will be implemented in a variety of locations . Research shows that 60% of women in Africa have missed some amount of education because of their lack of methods to deal with their monthly cycle. We plan to offer workshops to educate the girls in the schools on creating their own sustainable, reusable products and educating them on the benefits, risks, and proper use of said products. We hope be able to host 5 workshops in a variety of villages to reach over 200 girls. 

Medical Technological Servicing:

Team Lead: Joshua Geschke

Medical device graveyards have been increasing in prevalence all over Africa being that medical devices get donated and there is not an effective means to service them. By identifying and taking an inventory of these devices, we hope to locate parts and give service manuals to the technicians that try to fix these devices so that they may be used once again. 

Engineering Education:

Team Lead: Summer Oley

As has been done in the past, we will be going to local schools with the intention to provide basic and interesting engineering lessons, hands-on activities, and discussions to spark an interest in the engineering fields. The activities will require the students to be creative and to work on a team as they build rollercoasters and catapults with straws, tape, rubber bands, and ping-pong balls.

Computer Literacy:

Team Lead: Daniel Knenlein

The main focus for the time in country will be spent implementing a Rachel Pi and two Raspberry Pi’s, as well as assessing the computer needs of schools in the area for future teams.  It is known that more efficient and well equipped computer labs are desired, so we will be looking at how future teams can provide this to the schools.  In addition to that, computer lessons will be given to teachers and students to provide them with basic computer skills so that they know how to better use their technology. Through the continuation of this project, it is hoped that the addition of computer technology and greater knowledge will provide a better education to the students in these schools to increase their likelihood to attend higher education.

 IGS Ventilator:

Team Lead: Joshua Geschke

The Innovative Global Solutions (IGS) Enterprise has been in partnership with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi with their Ventilator Project. We are going to meet the current team that is working with the IGS Ventilator as well as do an environmental analysis. We hope to continue this ongoing partnership between Michigan Tech and KNUST which allows for engineering students at both universities to globally collaborate.

We are very excited to actively begin our projects on Tuesday, July 4th. The first week spent in Sunyani was dedicated to meeting the necessary contacts for our projects, learning how to get around Ghana either by walking or taking a taxi or tro tro (think passenger van that seats 18, WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE), and researching/planning for our projects. Our country advisor, Andrew Storer, was present for the first few days to help us with the above, but we’ve officially been on our own for a couple days now! The team had originally planned to start implementing projects today on July 3rd, but were informed of a national holiday we were unaware of which has caused a day delay. 

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Summer, Amanda, Dan and Andrew in our first tro-tro ride of the trip!

A Goat and an Obruni: 

We would like to share a moment that we will never forget with you. On Thursday, June 29th, we took a 2 hour tro tro ride to Babienha, a village on the boarder of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. As we were climbing into the tro tro, Amanda realized there was some kind of head underneath her seat. Once she got in, she noticed that it was a goat! Whenever we would rapidly slow down, the goat would slam into her legs and if the goat was feeling curious he’d pop his head up and scratch her inner thighs. At one point, the goat actually fell out the back (the back was only partially secured with rope tied to the side windows and the rear wipers) and was running along screaming behind us until the tro tro driver stopped to retrieve him! He was then hog tied and brought up to the front of the tro tro to be sure of his safety. This experience showed us just how unpredictable and full of surprises public transportation can be here! 

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The goat under Amanda.

Until next time the team will keep being amazed by everything around us!

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Meet Your 2017 Ghana Team!

Ma adwo (good evening)!

Tonight we, the 2017 Ghana team, will take the first step in our international journey where we will spend five weeks completing international human centered design projects and cultivating a higher understanding of the culture and way of life of the people of Ghana.

To start off our journey we’ll give you a brief introduction to all of our team members to see who you’ll be hearing from over the next couple of weeks!

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Amanda Moya is a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student from Las Vegas, Nevada. Her professional interests include work in energy generation through natural gas and wind power. During her time at Michigan Tech she was able to attend the 2015 Global Grand Challenges Summit in Beijing, China which peaked her interest in the energy industry and led to her industry experience with Consumers Energy.

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Joshua Geschke is a fourth year Biomedical Engineering student from Riverview, Michigan. His professional interests include medical device research and development as well as their sales. Last summer, Joshua interned with Meridian Health Plan in their IT Security Department and helped identify opportunities and implement procedures to make Meridian’s IT Security policies more comprehensive.

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Summer Oley is a fourth year Chemical Engineering student from Monroe, MI. Her professional interests include refining. During the spring of 2016 and 2017, Summer has worked at Marathon Petroleum Company at the Detroit Refinery in the Tech Services department and at the headquarters in Findlay in the Operations research department respectively.

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Daniel Knenlein is a fourth year Computer Science student from Grand Rapids, Michigan. His professional interests include improving technical support through client studies and technician training. During the summer of 2016, Daniel interned with the Spectrum Health hospital network in their Information Services department.

The team will be based out of Sunyani, Ghana (pictured below) but our projects will take us to cities such as Kumasi, Babianeha, and many more!

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We will posting (at least) on a weekly basis so make sure to come along on our adventure as we tell you about our experiences with tro tros, visiting monkey sanctuaries, the numerous unexpected challenges we’ll face with our projects and many other aspects of the next five weeks!

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Yebe kyia (goodbye) from your 2017 Ghana Team! 

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