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!
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 🙂
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.
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.