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Entries in Meghan Gamble (7)

Thursday
Jan152009

Ghanian Culture 101

 

Just Good Manners

  • The people in general are very friendly. You say Good Morning/Good Evening/Hello first and let them respond to your greeting. 
  • If offered water from the tap (which there was no way in hell we were drinking), take the glass, pour a bit out of the glass onto the floor/dirt, and at the end of the meeting, give the glass back. None of us could get over how pouring the water out of the glass wasn't an insult, but we were told it is not. Rejecting the water would be an insult. 
  • Do not use your left hand for anything. Handing money to a cashier, taking money from a cashier, dispensing meds, taking a pulse, waving, shaking hands, etc. It is deemed improper. Not a total insult, but viewed as not the norm. 

For Medicinal Purposes Only

  • Try not to drink bottled water in front of the locals, they don't have any. 
  • Try to remember they do medical procedures differently than us and the U.S. way is not the only way. 
  • Their version of pain is different than our version of pain, they state it differently, they hide it and tend never to complain about pain. So if you ask them if their pain is a little or a lot, and they respond a little, it's probably a lot. If they say no pain, there is probably a little. That's completely different from the hypochondriacs we get in the States. 
  • Despite the cramped conditions in the hospital, men and women would be examined differently and could never room together, even with a curtain separating them. That would prove to be difficult when we took a tour of the hospital a few days later.