June 28

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First of many

This is my first blog – ever, so will keep it short, also, if you are going to comment, please be kind.
A close friend of mine planted the seed of the Pulse program a few years ago when she said “You should do that, you would be great at it”

So, some 4 years later I was able to apply and after an application process that is interesting and thought provoking and makes you look at why you would want to do such a thing I was selected as candidate for a placement. This achievement was not one that I can claim as all my own work, I have had a lot of support from a lot of people in GSK, the Pulse program and also friends and family, but I do have special thanks to my manager Digby Smart who has always been a guide and mentor and without his help I would not be in this privileged position.

After a somewhat lengthy visa application process (4 visits to the Nigerian High Commission) I was “ready”.

I had friends and family asking me how I was feeling on the run up to my deployment and I just said that it felt like it wasn’t happening to me and must be happening to someone else, that was until the 20th June when I woke up and realised that the next day I would leave the UK to live and work in Africa, which was WOW moment number 1.

I travelled out here with a friend form GSK, Manish Burman and it came as quite a shock that he assumed that out of the two of us, he considered that I am the “responsible adult”, those of you that know me know this is simple not to be true and this was WOW moment number 2.

I have now started my 6 months’ deployment with a charity called the Malaria Consortium based in Abuja.

I arrived in Abuja on the 22nd at 5am and found myself at work by 1pm, and while I know that my primary role will be “HR manager”, having met some of the team and my manager I realise that I will be asked to do a lot of different tasks and will need to keep an open mind and be flexible, a challenge I am very much looking forward to.

We spent the weekend finding some accommodation and we are due to move in on the 2nd July, with Manish and I sharing an apartment and this lead to WOW moment number 3, he thinks I can cook!!! I did point out that I am able to burn water, so interesting times ahead.

I do intend to try to post as often as I can, time permitting, but for now, I have to sign off.