T-12 Days, the first loop of this roller-coaster journey has been completed!

So where to begin…My PULSE journey so far has been a whirlwind, roller-coaster of an experience, with many highs and lows. From applying back in December to being accepted, hearing about the great assignments available to finally being matched, which was to an NGO in Nigeria. Although initially worried about living in Nigeria, I was quickly reassured after speaking to a PULSE buddy who had volunteered there, other colleagues who had worked there and also local colleagues from Lagos (Thanks for the tips Ngozi!). The NGO had a great project for me, working on improving the supply chain of Nigeria!

The 3 day orientation training in Teddington was fantastic. This is when the program became a reality, and provoked many thoughts. I met some great people, who are ready to be the change!.

My partners of change!
My partners of change!

After many mails around requirements, I finally got my visa. We, the Abuja volunteers, had a great virtual team meeting with the leadership team of GSK Nigeria, and I was ready to go…However, the roller-coaster ride continued…

For reasons I shan’t go in to, the partnership was cancelled, and I thought my PULSE journey had ended before it began…a real low time…however, Ahsiya and the team had a plan B! Thanks guys!

I was reassigned to the Clinton Health Access Initiative, or CHAI, which was an initiative of the Clinton Foundation in 2002, and is now a separate affiliated entity, since 2010. I will be based in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. I will be working closely with the Rwanda Biomedical Center’s Medical Procurement and Production Department (MPPD), to reduce stock outs of essential medicines, and also to review cost savings in the supply chain.

So the roller-coaster has gone full circle, as my interest in PULSE came about when Anna was on her assignment two years ago, which was also at CHAI in Rwanda. This is when I subscribed to followed the blogs, and read about many colleagues experiences, and the changes they were making (you can follow us too by clicking Blog). Our fantastic 3 day orientation session ended with a presentation from Steven, who was also at CHAI in Rwanda last year.

So I now have my tickets booked, and I am accumulating things I think I should be packing, from Malarone and Deet, to Post-it notes and a journal! I have a great support network around me, and I am now ready for the next part of the Journey…

14 comments

    1. Thanks Jan. I will get into blogging once out there.
      How is Fiji treating you, and your assignment?

  1. Good luck Christos – sad you won’t be here with us in Abuja – but I know you will have a fab time in Rwanda! Make sure you go and see the gorillas for me! Keep us updated with your news, it will be all the more special after such a rollercoaster! xx

    1. Thanks Anna. The gorillas are on the list!
      Hope all is going well in Abuja. Any university-style fancy dress parties yet? 🙂

    1. Hey Chris, thanks. Got there in the end, and a very hectic, fast paced few days since finding out my new assignment.

  2. Hi Christos, wow you’ve had a rollercoaster already. I’m also trying to improve stock outs and supply chain for STC so will follow your progress closely and hopefully we can catch up to share ideas.

    1. Hi Jim. Hope it’s going well for you. We should definitely catch up whilst out there and share some ideas. Mid way point.

  3. Quite a journey already Christos … what will the next 6 months have in store!! Wishing you well as you set off to Rwanda.

  4. I hope you have an amazing time in Rwanda, Christos! I was in Kigali with Steven and another GSK colleague last year, so if you have any questions or concerns at all, please feel free to reach out!

    1. Hi Colleen.
      Thanks. I read a lot of your posts last year, so have some ideas of things to see. I will be sure to reach out if I need something.

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