June 05


Anxiously at peace

Is that title a bit oxymoronic? I suppose so, but it truly is what I’m feeling at the moment. Two weeks from today I begin my journey as a PULSE volunteer, as I leave comforts of Bloomington, Indiana (population 83,500) and home and head to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, population of 17,000,000 or so for the next six months. It will be a steep learning curve to be sure as I adjust to urban life in a place where I don’t even have an elementary grasp of the language (yet). Many people have asked me how nervous I am or if I’m scared at all, and they are surprised when I say, “No.” and, frankly, so am I to a degree.

I am blessed to be working with PATH, an organization steeped in 40 years of innovation in the non-profit sector. We will continue to build on the work that they have been doing for last year and a half  to develop a highly effective hypertension and cardiovascular disease awareness campaign resulting in positive changes and long term improvement in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases throughout Vietnam. The level of expertise that PATH bring to the project steadies the nerves and gives me great confidence.

Billy Graham once said, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” And I firmly believe that my faith is what is keeping me calm as I prepare for the challenges that will surely present themselves during this assignment. I have a great sense of peace about the travel, the accommodations, the food, the culture, and the work that I will be doing with PATH. I’ve not deluded myself into thinking that I won’t be stretched to my limit at times, but I confidently say, “I accept this challenge and will do my absolute best to make great things happen for the citizenry of Vietnam, for PATH and GSK, and for myself.

Stay tuned for my next installment.

Cho đến lần sau,