One Important Trait you should have in your toolbox to Travel

Flexibility is key when traveling abroad. Our work has barely begun, yet our team has seemingly mastered this trait without trying. Our first day in the country was spent waiting for hotel rooms, waiting for lunch, trying to stay awake to beat the jet leg, waiting for the rest of our team to arrive and waiting for dinner. Sometimes, in a foreign culture, what we do most is wait. What else can be done? We made the most of our time swapping stories and taking walks. It’s not a normal kick off to a clinic, but then again, what is normal when working within a foreign culture in the developing world? We turned our attention to our surroundings and took note of the culture around us. Women wore vibrant dresses walked down busy streets with sacks of food balanced on their heads. Men with machetes selling piles of coconuts lined up by the side of a busy road. The city is busy and stretches for many miles in every direction until the ocean or thick vegetation stops it in its tracks.

The most evident expression of flexibility and teamwork at the beginning of the trip was when two members of our team had to live with only what they carried in their small backpacks after the airline lost their entire luggage on the last flight into Accra. Instead of being in a panic when I met them at the airport, this mother and daughter duo explained the situation and took it in stride.  When we gathered for dinner that evening, the rest of the team came together with offerings from their wardrobes. From then, it was evident that our team was going to be awesome!

Tomorrow is to be our first day of clinics. This is my first Project C.U.R.E. trip, my first time in Africa and my second month of work. That’s right. I am the leader and director of this trip! I was so nervous wanting to be the best that I can for my team and for the people of Ghana. This group makes it easy.  We took time after dinner to discuss what makes us nervous and what we are excited about. Everyone is nervous about being able to give his or her own best - that is when you know you are on the winning team. Whenever you are worried about something, that very thing is what you end up surpassing in achievement. This evening we all came together to make a plan for our day and in the end, agreed that it was just a plan A. We know that B and C will be waiting for us and maybe even D and E when those don’t work out. But we agreed that we won’t worry about it because we are going to do the best we can, together.

 

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