Author Archives: Jim Russell

February 12

Back from Kigali: Simple Gratitude

I wrote in an earlier blog about experiencing a bit of reentry about halfway through my 6 month assignment. A week-long trip to Portugal gave me a fleeting taste of clean water and comfort food.  But that’s not reentry.  I returned to Chicago 6 weeks ago and my next few blogs will give you a […]

November 26

Dispatches from Kigali: Controlled substances, guns and a pushy female

After spending too many weekends in Kigali I finally pulled the trigger on a trip to Volcanoes National Park, in northwest Rwanda, to observe a family of mountain gorillas in the wild. One week later I am still getting my head around what happened… The trip to the park included a stop for Rwandan fast […]

November 03

Dispatches From Kigali: A Night Out

Reading about Rwanda is OK but you can learn a lot with a simple social call. Our local team Director recently lost a family member so we had the chance to spend the evening with her saddened family. This was my first step into Rwandan home life and it was a good way to experience lots of […]

September 28

Dispatches from Kigali: Blink, Sniff and Sip

Blink: A cautionary tale about assumptions Malcolm Gladwell wrote “Blink.” One theme he developed was that important signals from our environment create connections in our brains. When we get these signals again we make judgments, quick as a blink, that can be as sound as data-heavy judgments. But sometimes assumptions can derail a good blink. I have […]

August 23

Dispatches From Kigali: What is Luck? And is that the right question?

I could write about science and the higher purpose I am serving in Kigali, but let’s focus on the really important stuff. Luck Recently a Rwandan junior team member gave me a document to look at along with a request from a senior stakeholder for an opinion.  This was a distraction and really inconvenient.  However, […]

July 25

Dispatches from Kigali: Dancing, Art and Masking Tape

Dispatches from Kigali: Dancing, Art and Masking Tape I’m 4 weeks into my job and some things really jump out. My GSK PULSE colleague and I were invited to a small GSK sales meeting in Kigali. What I learned was: Sales people are sales people.  These folks made us feel welcome instantly. The delightful accents […]

July 06

Kigali Dispatches: Life in this little big city.

Dateline July 4, Kigali, Rwanda. As the photo shows, the view from my home office in Kigali is wildly different from the view in Chicago. My GSK PULSE colleague and I share an apartment on the 5th floor of an apartment building on top of a hill, so our view is out and down. The […]

June 21

Rwanda Bound!

June 21, 2015 It’s a cool June day in downtown Chicago and I’ve taken my malaria medicine. I’m finally packed and have downloaded enough books and movies to survive the 14 hour leg to Qatar and the 7 hour leg to Rwanda. The 14 hour layover in Qatar will be a relief! I’m strangely calm, probably […]