Almost a month with Save..

Time flies …..Almost a month that I started my Pulse assignment with Save the Children to work on a supply chain system tool for malnutrition products for children in Niger.

I started in London Farringdon, which was I have to say an interesting experience and to be honest I was not expecting such a stressful time as a start : I did a 4 days Security training outside of London where I met a bench of  approx 25 people with sometimes over 20 years experience in the field, some of them just coming back from Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan etc,.. During this training you are literally feeling that you are ‘in the field’ in the middle of nowhere ( does anyone know Kerrington ?)  facing extreme situations such as car accidents, shootings, kidnappings, attacks, cross fires, grenades explosions and so on. I even had to rescue some of the ‘actors’ playing victims of a shooting scenario and practice my first aid skills on a disgusting amputated arm learnt on the previous day .. Ah jeez so real but all fake 😉 Thank God for that!

photo 11

Then I arrived in Dakar 2 weeks ago on a Saturday night after all the last bits and pieces that needed to get sorted in London, my first impression at the airport was strange, it was so busy and only 2 locations/spots to collect the luggages and you know what !!! they managed to display the wrong one 🙂 I thought my luggages were lost but luckily or strangely an hour later I realised that someone collected my luggages and left them in a trolley in a corner somewhere.. when I picked my stuff and put them through the last scanner check, a man asked me : where have you been?? your stuff were going around for a long time!! Sighhh, hmmm…. I was like is he ok ?? ;-)..Important thing is that I got all my luggages back 🙂

Then when I got home, yes I have to call it home, it will be my home for the next couple of months , there was unfortunately no internet connection 🙂 When I went out on Sunday , I found a nice place called ‘La Brioche Doree’ I can tell you that they know me very well there. Their Wifi flows and saved my life ! I became a good customer, last thing they always tell me is see you tomorrow 🙂

Nice view from my window when I woke up
This is what happens when it rains...only if knew my rain boots would have been really useful!
This is what happens when it rains…only I if knew my rain boots would have been really useful!
First local meal : Yassa chicken at ‘La Brioche Doree’

On my first day at work which was the following day everyone was really nice, only issue no internet for the first 2 days in the office :-S.  I met the big boss , she asked me if I could present the pulse programme and my project during their staff meeting. The office is very well located, 5 min walk from my studio flat and opposite the ‘Brioche Doree’ open 24h. What else can I ask really hahaha:) That is quality! I am still trying to get familiar with everything around nutrition and the project I am working on as you can imagine Save loves as much as GSK using acronyms… After 2 days I had to do a presentation as previously mentioned at their monthly staff meeting, there were around 40 employees. Not bad for a first week…Funny thing is that at some point I had to switch in English as I am so not used to French when it comes to work! ( PS : they speak both languages in the office but mainly French). Their meeting was enriching in term of information for me , but I had a thought for our famous ADP methodology, in this intance the timekeeping would have been beneficial.

Save the Children Dakar
My Office
Just tight next to the office there is a family leaving there.
Just right next to the office there is a family living there.
They have nice supermarkets but quite expensive!

I am now preparing for my first trip to Niger, I will meet the country office director, Unicef and potentially the MOH. I will then take a domestic flight to Zinder where I will visit the different healh centers to assess the situation around the stock management, see how things can be improved and how the training on the tool once firmly implemented can be received.

I met with Carissa who is also a Pulse volunteer in Dakar ( NGO : Path) , we found a place where you can have nice yoghurt ice cream
I met with Carissa who is also a Pulse volunteer in Dakar ( NGO : Path) , we found a place where you can have nice yoghurt ice cream
Also met Annie who was stoping a few days in Dakar before going back to NYC. Funny thing that she met my colleague Christos too in Kigali. Small world with Pulse :)
Also met Annie who was stopping a few days in Dakar before going back to NYC. Funny thing that she met my colleague Christos too in Kigali. Small world with Pulse 🙂
Monument of the african renaissance.
Monument of the African renaissance.
Panoramic view of Dakar
Panoramic view of Dakar
This is a beach nearby, but when the weather decide to switch you need to be prepared.. see my next video post
This is a beach nearby, but when the weather decides to switch in 2 minutes you need to be prepared..



  1. Great first blog Noelle, with some great pictures and an insight in to Dakar life (it complements the stories I hear from Blondin, a GSK colleague from Dakar on PULSE assignment in Rwanda, and one of my housemates)! As you say it is a small PULSE world 🙂
    I think Annie’s official role is to welcome new PULSE volunteers to their assignment countries @lawtonannie haha…

      1. Yes Stu, Christos has got one too , you can access it using same link as for me and include his name christosnicolaou at the end as author. Hope that helps!

  2. Wow Noelle….what an experience! Thanks for sharing; I am already looking forward to reading the next one!
    Make the best out of it,

  3. You survived the security training – you can survive anything now ! Well done and great to see all your photos. Looking forward to hearing all about your placement.

  4. Great to hear from you Noelle, I did too this SC security training, online only, however wondering how the hiding from granade explosions skills could apply in Lima …. but watching the news and hearing stories of people now I realize anything is possible

  5. Great blog Noelle. I remember that Save Security briefing. Don’t worry. The real issues you face will thankfully be far less dramatic. I love your photos. They really bring Dakar to life:)

  6. Franchement, tous mes respects pour cette mission. Je suis sure que tu fera du bon boulot. Ca a lair magnifique Dakar, ca me donne envie 🙂

  7. I loved reading your blog – one month has flown by!!! I am looking forward to the next chapter – take care and be safe! 🙂

  8. Great blog Noelle 🙂 loved all the photoes and your writing skills 🙂 I wanted to read more 🙂 my favourite part was your airport experience and ” I was like is he ok ?? ” it was so Noelle 🙂 keep updating your blog …. take care

  9. Awesome first blog…It had me wanting more! Look forward to see the next one and to hear of your chronicles over here 🙂 Keep blessed and take care. M

  10. The supermarket looks super tidy, does anyone actually shop in there?! Sounds like a great experience so far, look forward to the updates!!

  11. Hi Noelle, welcome to the motherland 🙂 I am sure your work will have an impact on these people who need so much support. All the best with your assignmemt and do keep us posted 🙂

  12. Wow – what an experience you are having! I hope you are enjoying. I am sure you are making a positive difference. Take care! I look forward to hearing more :0)

  13. Great blog Noelle, thank you for sharing your experience with us, looking forward to reading more about your adventures 🙂 prends soin de toi, a bientot 🙂

  14. Hi, Noelle, great writing!!! And Really privileged to be part of your experience!!! Keep it up!!! Looking forward to see you soon!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s