It's interesting how time seems to pass faster when one is embedded in a well-oiled routine especially when working full-time! I started 2023 with reflection time while in Vietnam and the following intentions emerged:
EXPLORATION - GRATITUDE - SERENITY
Intentions for 2023
I started setting yearly intentions back in 2020, which was a pivotal year as I embarked on my first journey, unpaid leave from work, as well as first volunteering experience. I use these intentions or key words to give me a general direction for the year to come and guide me like an inner compass.
EXPLORATION: I want to explore "unchartered territories" in my professional development, and by this I mean consider a career change outside of corporate; find where my impact can be greater and give back to society.
GRATITUDE: I aim to remind myself along the way that despite my ups & downs, the challenges I encounter along the way help me to grow and become the person I am today, I feel proud and grateful of my journey, where each detour brings me a step closer to my ikigai, even if the path seems longer.
SERENITY: I aspire to feel serene, trust my guts and heart more, listen to my mind a little less :) I want to be relaxed and enjoy each step along the way, feeling comfortable in the unknown, accept uncertainty and not give too much credit to my fears (I know you all believe I'm super strong but I do have many fears too)
Why I am telling you all of that? Well, I'm about to start another 6-month unpaid leave from work! I've been planning this since January and thanks to the support of my boss at work, I am officially off work from May 15th til November 14th.
And as usual, I want to spend this time-off in a meaningful way and I've set the following goals:
Complete my One Health postgrad studies which I started part-time since 2020 (wondering what is One Health -> head to this blog article I wrote at the beginning of my studies)
Spend quality time with old friends and family over the summer in Europe
Volunteer with animals again, e.g. Mission rabies in Cambodia - for which I am embarking on a 1 week vaccination campaign tomorrow
and ultimately explore what job opportunities in NGOs focusing on global health exist around South East Asia for my potential next career step
About volunteering with Mission rabies
I had an amazing time volunteering with Mission Rabies last year in Uganda. Their mission is laudable and critical: reach zero death from dog-mediated rabies by 2030 (note: dogs are responsible for 95% of rabies case around the world).
Their approach is evidence-based, engaging multiple stakeholders from the public and private sectors and tailored to the specifities of the local community where they run mass-dog vaccination campaigns. I had such a blast volunteering with them last year, that I decided: why not doing it again!!
This time I'm flying next door to Cambodia, in the capital Phnom Penh, that still witnesses a death per week from rabies, mostly kids :( The disease is very much endemic there, so a yearly vaccination drive to reach 70% of the dog population is indicated to protect the local communities. The goal for this campaign is ambitious: vaccinate 100'000 dogs in 2 weeks!
Mission Rabies is a charity which means they are non-profit and can function only thanks to donors. That's why I am fundraising for them again - you can donate in a few clicks via JustGiving platform on this page.
A huge thanks in advance for those who can spare a few dollars/francs for this worthy cause.
As always, I will be posting pictures daily on this Facebook page so feel free to check it out. Stay tuned for another blog article after the mission is over.
Sending lots of love from the other side of the world <3