It’s hard to believe that I’ve been back in Canada for over two weeks. Time has gone by quickly and surprisingly the adjustment back to life in Toronto hasn’t been as strange as I thought it would be. I’ve pretty much jumped right back into my everyday routine here! There is definitely a lot to share about on my trip, but I think it is more than I can write in a single posting. I’ve had a chance to take some time to reflect on my journey and I am inspired to write some of my reflections here because of the support and encouragement you all have provided me.
Firstly, a heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone at St. John’s Rehab who selflessly gave to the Nkanchina School Fund and the Snake Bite Fund. With the assistance of all of your generous donations, we were able to raise approximately $6000 CDN for each fund to help and serve the people of Ghana. I am delighted to tell you that these donations were received with great gratitude and appreciation. The money will help save many lives and provide education for many children in the Kpandai district of Northern Ghana!
Looking back, I believe my trip to Africa was both a professional endeavour and a personal journey. One of our main purposes for this trip was to learn more about healthcare in Ghana, as well as to provide physiotherapy services and to teach seminars for Ghanaian physiotherapists. I met many incredibly dedicated and talented therapists, and we found that there is significant opportunity to provide education and training for them. Access to the most current literature and best practice guidelines is scarce in Ghana, so most therapists are willing to travel several hours to attend seminars to improve their knowledge and their clinical skills. I was fortunate to have made important connections with some of the national leaders in physiotherapy, and it is exciting to have a chance to participate in the advancement of the profession in the country. They have already invited me back to teach next year!
On a personal level, as I reflect on my journey, I have no doubt that this trip has changed me in a significant way. In my time there, I encountered in the Ghanaian people both strength and beauty, as well as sorrow and suffering. I experienced firsthand the tragic consequences of poverty, but I was also humbled by the resiliency of the African people. Now, after travelling over 2000 km through large cities and rural villages in Ghana, I feel a sense of completion, that I have fulfilled the purposes for which God has led me to this country. I cannot say that the Ghanaian people are the only ones who have benefitted from my time there, for I have gained new friendships and relationships with individuals who have inspired me greatly. I have come back with a genuine appreciation for what I have in my life and renewed determination to use what I have been blessed with to stand for social justice and advocate for change to somehow make a difference in our world.
Here are some more photos from my experience: