One Month In

It’s hard to believe I’ve already been in Nairobi for a month. It seems like I just got here. This experience has been flying by! I am feeling good about my assignment so far. I’m working on improving the quality systems in the AMREF lab so that they can become accredited in the future. I was slightly fearful that the lab would be nowhere near ready for accreditation and that I wouldn’t even come close to having all the systems in place before I left. The lab is actually in good shape and they have already made some progress in setting up a Quality Management System (QMS). I spent my first month reviewing their current documentation and identifying the gaps. I am now preparing to perform a lab audit to figure out where the lab is with the implementation of everything outlined in the documentation. Then we’ll start trying to get everything in place so they are ready for accreditation. First step will be providing some basic QMS training for the lab staff and explaining why this whole process is important so that they are all on-board with the project. It’s still a lot to get done but I think it’s a fairly realistic if challenging goal to get all the systems in place before I leave.

Kim, Garret, and I at AMREF HQ

It has taken a lot of self-motivation to keep myself busy some days. Things definitely move slower here than they do in the US corporate world. At GSK I’m used to spending most of the day in the lab moving around so sitting at a desk all day reviewing documentation is tough for me. So while I’m waiting for some of the more active parts of my assignment I’m using a lot of self-motivation to keep myself focused on the documentation side.

I’ve also had some fun on the weekends going out to meet some of the local wildlife. So far I’ve met giraffes, crocodiles, ostriches, and orphaned baby elephants. We’re in the process of booking a safari to see the wildebeest migration in the Maasi Mara in August.

Kim and I with a baby crocodile

Team Nairobi is almost complete. We now have 5 out of the 6 Nairobi PULSE volunteers here with Sibel and Helen joining us earlier this week. In just a couple weeks our last volunteer will arrive and the Nairobi team will be complete. It’s been great having such a diverse team considering the 6 of us are from 4 different countries (US, UK, Turkey, and Estonia) and a variety of different roles within GSK. We’re also working in different roles within AMREF so it’s been great seeing everyone’s experiences and learning more about AMREF as a whole.


  1. Dorothy, Hi Lynda here. It just so happens that I’m coming to Nairobi next week to meet with the SAVE Regional Communications person. If you and some of the other GSK folks are free on Wednesday or Thursday evening I would love to touch base.

  2. Hi, Dorothy~~~ My name is Hyesook Park from Korea and I’ve been assigned at Earth Institute in Ghana. Now I am in Ghana with Kim Ramstack from US. So happy that 5 volunteers from 4 different countries are getting together. In Ghana 4 GSK volunteers are now based in Kumasi and Takoradi. So proud that all volunteers have different skill sets for supporting NGO across world.My skill sets are training Leadership and developing training materials. Kim Ramstack is Immunization specialist in US and she is very specialized in communication skills.
    Can I get your email address or local phone number?

    Hope you are doing well and take care!


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