June 27

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Safely In Loco

The Ground rush is complete and the fast approaching departure has come and gone equally as fast.   I had a very special last week in UK; a super fun leaving drinks with all my closest friends there to toast my send off, then up to Edinburgh with my parents and boyfriend for my brothers 30th birthday, then a final few days in the office with so many well wishes from colleagues.

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My family on the beach in Edinburgh

My colleagues will be pleased to hear that my packing was efficiently started and completed the morning of my departure. Even though I am still to work out if I have packed the right things. A major dilemma as I’ll be living in a city, working in an office but much hotter weather than we are used to in London, with sporadic rain as it is wet season at the moment, and potential to travel out to where my project is based (more of that on a later blog). Anyway I have enough!

I have been asked by many friends along this journey, ‘what is PULSE?’. So to bring those of you who are reading this who I didn’t manage to explain personally, up to speed – PULSE is an assignment you can apply for at GSK having worked at the company 3+ years. It matches your skill set to a specific NGO project to act as a catalyst for change: change communities, change yourself and change GSK. This year one of the 2015 volunteers will be the 500th employee, since its inception in 2009, to complete a PULSE assignment. You can apply for domestic or international placements, 3 or 6 months long respectively.

So here I am, 6 months on from submitting my application, in Abuja, Nigeria (the capital). On Monday I will start working for the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). In the meantime, a PULSE alumni (thanks Paul!) who based in Abuja 2 years ago has linked me up to a friend who is still based here and has kindly offered to take me out tonight! Not a bad start!

Keep checking in, I’ll hopefully find out on Monday what I’ll be working on specifically so look forward to updating you soon.