Today has been packed and diverse. Nothing feels clear cut, everything feels politically charged, nuanced, complex, incomplete. The learning is again exponential, but it has been not only intellectual but personal in terms of how I approach acquiring and using knowledge about HIV issues. And global health issues. In the sense that I more deeply appreciate the importance of putting aside the knowledge you think you have, and listening without the natural, immediate internal judgement. Putting aside competition and accomplishment and instead focusing on creativity, collaboration and new opportunities for change. Holding my tongue about criticism, even if just for a minute. The importance of using human faces and stories as a platform for discussing issues. And backing up the human stories with hard evidence or contemplation about the lack thereof. And most of all, the importance of smiling and meeting people with an open heart. Finding the little connections.
I’ve been at captivating sessions about MSM (men that have sex with men), prevention strategies for female sex workers, male circumcision to prevent HIV transmission from women to men, and vertical funding strategies for healthcare system reform. I also presented the Global Health Mentorship Project and have been meeting representatives from NGOs that are not yet a part of our project.
I hope to write more about these tonight, when not suffering the 10 minute internet limit!