Lite, sweet, solemn and tired

The two day workshop ended on a high note after an intense morning of work planning with a team building lite – a guessing game that got people in stitches. After that we became a little more serious with everyone acknowledging one other member of the team, followed by the solemn signing of the Birchwood Declaration.

This is the second Declaration I have midwifed; the first was the Kabul Declaration that was signed by Ministers of Health from 7 countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. At that time Sita helped with the graphics. This declaration was not quite of the same significance but still an important commitment to a set of principles to guide the project over the next 4 years and possibly beyond. Ian from headquarters who had a great facility with words, with photo shop and the staff of the business center, helped put the finishing touches on the jumble of words that emerged from a session on day one. He wrote the prose that left people speechless, then took our picture and put one and one together, photo shopping the picture taker in as well.

Sue and I stayed on in the empty conference room to make sure we got all the data generated during the second day into a computer. It was good Sue helped me out as she knows the context and can distinguish between proposed activities that made sense and those that didn’t. It was tedious work as we moved around the room from flipchart to flipchart, crumpling each after we were done. In the meantime it got dark and cold and when Sue left for the airport I took the remaining flipcharts to my room to complete.

But I collapsed from exhaustion; it had been two very long and intense days. As an extravert my energy tends to leave with the last person leaving. It departed with Sue. Back in the room I dropped everything on the ground and fell into bed; a fitful but not very restful sleep.

I spent the day finishing the data entry, trying to make sense of things I know nothing about such as pharmacovigilance, essential drug lists, formularies and tendering. I completed my trip report and sent it in for review, had a massage and pedicure in the Lotus Spa, talked with Axel on Skype and packed up. It’s time to go home.

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