July 07


In order to Arrive one must first Depart –

I started this particular blog thinking about departures – the departure from routine, departure from family and friends, departure from what is familiar…

Today is the start of my journey – where will it take me? As I set forth for that drive from home to airport, I have more than just a flutter of a butterfly in my gut – it’s an entire kaleidoscope!  How will this turn out?  Whilst I travel for work quite often out of the country, this trip is different, I will not be back in 2-3 weeks but more like 4.5 months before a mid-PULSE assignment visit to the States.

I depart Raleigh for London (initially) and whilst London feels like a second home, this time it is different. I begin my PULSE assignment with the Malaria Consortium on Monday 10 July arriving in the office in central London.   I have been busy preparing for this journey and spending quality time with the family.   The past 2 weeks have been a real roller coaster….leaving behind my mom, hosting friends for an evening of cocktails and fellowship on the patio, family trip to Ocean Isle, a few last hugs from my wife, kids and a rousing game of catch with the family dog and the office family.  I couldn’t do it without my wife Marianne, and children Robert Jr, Lydia and Eliza Mae also supporting this long-term goal. As I prepare for my 18:05 departure I am filled with excitement and anticipation on what is ahead of me and how I can contribute in some small way to ‘Be the Change’.

I have your standard check list…..passport, visas, tickets, meds, what to pack, what to purchase across Africa. Can one ever really finalize things at home?  With two large suitcases filled with bare necessities I think I am set for Departure.

At some point in life we’re all faced with a decision of whether to take a risk. Whether you succeed or fail, the act of taking a risk will stretch you and give you faith in yourself–and the confidence to do even more. Maybe we’re meant to do things that scare us so we can build greatness in ourselves.  It is with this thought that makes me think of one of my favourite pics by Pablo Picasso at the Reine Sofia in Madrid; ‘Guernica’.  Like so many famous works of art, the meaning of Guernica is not really clear and left open to interpretation.  It is this “interpretation’ that reminds me of a quote by Picasso ….. ”we are doing that which we (think we) cannot do, in order that we may learn how to do it”.  How does this relate to PULSE?  Well if we are to do great things we must always be motivated to take bold risks. If you’re feeling timid or uncertain, I hope you find the inspiration to do what you are meant to do.  It is along this journey that we land at the answer – we learn how to do it.

With this thought I am set for the ARRIVAL…..

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