Author Archives: Allison Barnes

It’s been 6 months already!!!

So this is it… the last day of my PULSE assignment and my last day in Ghana. 6 months have absolutely flown by and I can’t believe that I’m going to be getting on a plane to go home tonight.  This has definitely been a great adventure, full of wonderful people and experiences. For the […]

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Well, I’m starting my last two weeks in Ghana today… I just got back last night from Christmas at home in NC and it was really great to see my family and some friends, even if it was really quick…. and weather in the 40s and 50s made it feel like Christmas, even though that […]

Happy (late) Thanksgiving!!

So I haven’t yet come to grips with the fact that it’s already the end of November…. As Ghana enters the dry season, our daily high temperatures are starting to climb slightly… I believe today’s high was 88°F… and when I looked at the weather back home in NC this weekend, the temperature was 28°F… […]

Still alive and well in Ghana :)

Hiiii 🙂 Just a quick note to say that we’re still doing well in Ghana…. We’ve been working in the Accra office for a few weeks in order have our project team together in one place to prepare for a project update meeting…. and then our internet has been down for a little over a week […]

Azonto, halfway and my birthday! :)

Last Friday afternoon we watched a youtube video with some of the girls that work in our housing complex because they’ve promised to teach us how to dance azonto – probably because they think that it will be hilarious watching us try, but azonto moves are a regular part of our aerobics class and I’m […]

Kakum National Park’s Canopy Walk

So we road-tripped this weekend… on Saturday, we braved the tro-tros yet again and after waiting a little while for a full car from Cape Coast, we made it safely to Kakum National Park. Kakum National Park preserves a small pocket of the rainforest that used to cover much of Ghana… and provides a home for a […]

oh the food you’ll eat in ghana!

Hey… I’m still very much alive… sorry for the gap in blog posts! So I’ve gotten a lot of questions from friends and family about the food that we’re eating here in Ghana… so I’m going to dedicate this whole post to food (I’ll probably have to come back later with some more pictures, though) […]

Our last week: Bumpy roads to Ellembelle, power cuts, aerobics…. and more data entry!

So…. have you ever felt like you were in a real-life version of Mario Kart??  Well, riding around some of the dirt roads in Ghana can act as a pretty good simulation… lots of vehicles and obstacles coming at you and at times, you really wish you could super-jump to make it over some of […]

We have a home in Takoradi :)

We’ve moved in!!! And we’re so excited about it…. here, let me give you a tour…. This is the living room/dining room…. This is the kitchen…. This is my bedroom (I’m still unpacking)… This is my bathroom…. Binita has her own room and bathroom, too… but the important part to notice about the bathroom is […]

Data accuracy, data quality, and a few weekend trips in Ghana….

Hey! After a few weeks, we’ve finally got strong and relatively consistent internet access – it just took taking a loooong bus ride to Accra for the weekend to make it happen 🙂 So we’ve had a busy past few weeks at work and we’re moving into our house this Wednesday! We’re really excited to get […]

Takoradi, Ghana…. Week 3….

So this week, I’ve decided that I need to learn to understand and speak a little bit of Twi… and I need to say thanks to the previous Ghana PULSE volunteers that recommended a Twi app that I downloaded before I left, so it might actually be possible!  I’ve learned the word ‘obruni’ very well […]

Just what you’ve been waiting for…. an update on data collection in Ghana!! :)

(I hope you’re still reading, despite the title!) Well, my second week in Ghana is drawing to a close…. I still feel a little overwhelmed at times, but overall, it’s great… our project is really interesting and the people here are wonderful… I think my favorite part of this past week though, is that I […]

As the first week comes to a close….

Well last Friday morning, I was in North Carolina running in circles trying to pack and weigh suitcases, hoping that I had everything I needed for 6 months…. this Friday morning, I’m in the Jhpiego Takoradi field office after a crash course on the STAR CHPS program and 2 days in the field, eating kooko (for the […]

And so, the adventure begins….

Well, here’s my start at blogging…. 6 months of it, so look out!! 🙂 Just as a quick background, as a part of the GSK PULSE program ( I’m going to be based in Takoradi, Ghana for the next 6 months working with the Jhpiego organization ( to help develop an effective monitoring system that will […]