Day one is in the books. I'm sitting here in D.C. with my roommate Matt, an incredibly chill pediatric trauma nurse from Denver, and can say without question that this has been quite the first day. The morning and afternoon were spent just down the street at Peace Corps Headquarters, where there were many new hands to shake and different names to learn.
If first impressions are supposed to mean anything, consider me impressed. This is such a wonderful group of individuals, and I feel very honored to be in their company. The staff from Peace Corps and Seed Global Health were all very welcoming and organized, which was a reassuring sight to witness en route to somewhere halfway around the globe. Everyone was kind, knowledgeable, and clearly committed to improving global health.
Sadly, Vanessa Kerry - who has put so much time and effort into this initiative - was unable to be in attendance this morning due to a family medical emergency. Hopefully she'll be able to rejoin us later in the week, as none of this would have been possible without her dedication and hard work.
A definite highlight for me was meeting all of the other Global Health Service Partnership volunteers. There are 11 of us headed to Malawi, 11 headed to Uganda, and 9 headed to Tanzania. All doctors and nurses, we come from many different backgrounds. There are several internists, a cardiologist, a family medicine doc, a few OBGYNs and pediatricians, an anesthesiologist, a number of nurses, and of course me as the lone psychiatrist in the group.
Some of us are in the early stages of our careers, while others are in more twilight phases. There are fewer mid-career types among our number. That said, everyone seems to get along fabulously so far. Matt and I were talking a few minutes ago, and he commented that it feels like we've been here much longer than a single day, as everyone has already started to get a fairly good sense of one another. I agree completely with this sentiment, as it feels like I've known some people here for ages (even though we just met this morning). It's a pleasure to be among so many kindred souls.
I'm definitely excited for the coming days, weeks, and months ahead.