June 27

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And so it begins…..

The butterflies are beginning to dissipate.  The feelings of anxiety and doubt are gradually being replaced by unbridled excitement and anticipation!  I am boarding a flight to LA to Tokyo to Hanoi in about 36 hours!  Total flight time is around 25 hours! I have many books and movies downloaded to help me pass the time, but  I think I will spend much of that downtime lost in my own thoughts.  There is much to reflect on as I launch myself full speed ahead into this new adventure.

I am so fortunate to be selected to participate in the GSK PULSE Volunteer partnership.  This is an amazingly generous program launched by GSK in 2009.  It is a skill set matching volunteer program, where employees are selected and matched with non-profit organizations around the world to share their expertise and knowledge.  I will be working with PATH International in Hanoi, Vietnam on the Healthy Markets project.  The goal is to work with the private sector and community to develop a new commercial market for HIV related goods and services among the at risk populations.  For example, innovative marketing of condoms, lube, safe syringes, self-testing kits and adoption of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Therapy which has recently been made available in Vietnam.  Those of you who have worked with me at ViiV, know that working in the community and education are my passions, so I am looking forward to a very productive six months with PATH!

Beyond my work assignment, I am so excited to take in all the sights, sounds and most especially the delicious food of Vietnamese culture.  I plan to explore as much of SE Asia as possible during my free time.  I promise to share many pictures, and faithfully document all of my adventures.

Thank you to my friends and family for your unwavering support that has allowed me to pursue this amazing opportunity!   Much love and peace to all of you!