When coronavirus disease outbreak set in last year, we were all at a loss especially when we couldn’t get to meet most of our friends. This was even extra for the interactions with those we weren’t as close to. On the backdrop of this, I had my not so bearable moments which were made fun by the constant and consistent conversations with my niece as I wrote about here. As a business developer and a creative I used most of these times to generate new ideas which by not having the luxury of constant company, I kept bouncing on my colleagues at Ryculture Health and Social Innovation during our weekly meetings which became our support system during this period. Worth mentioning is the fact that I’ve had a longtime mentor with whom we’ve kept conversing on emails at least once a week since the first case was reported and probably even before then. At 10PM when I settle down to close out on the day is when these email exchanges happen and I feel there’s that need for connection and meaningful conversation that sparks my mind to think of certain subject matters differently. Senior Fellow Dr. Harshvadan “Harsh” Maroo is one constant source of wisdom and company at these hours.
Today as I sat for my pre-registration examination, I got to interact with some of my former classmates and senior colleagues in the profession. Looking back I hadn’t been in touch with most of these people regardless of the fact that we made great memories together in those days (story for another day). The highlight of the day was getting to meet three (3) senior colleagues: one of whom we got in touch for the first time in 2017 when I was serving as a student leader under Pharmacy Students’ Association of Kenya (KEPhSA) where I was to facilitate the induction of Kabarak University students’ into the association and share on the benefits of being part of professional networks. At this time being in school I couldn’t make it to visit during the week so I had to schedule a session for a Saturday which wasn’t convenient for him to be around so we never got to meet in person but out of his initiative & support for the same I made the trip where I made great friends (family). Moving forward, we’ve kept in touch over the years through phone calls and emails once in a while until today that we finally got to meet in person. For the second colleague, we collaborated in coordination of COVID-19 Response initiatives under the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) which he was chairing. The interaction went low when the landscape became blurry and more conflicting evidence kept coming up with regard to COVID-19 transmission, management, care and support for healthcare workers, patients & their relatives. As we moved into this new year, I had an idea which I didn’t hesitate to bounce off with him which happened to set stage for a new stream of communication. As we met today in person for the first time, we had a chance to rethink the prospects and possibilities of taking it up for the next phase and seeing how to implement better.
The third colleague has been a support system with regard to comprehending policy matters and regulatory concerns impacting pharmacy practice and training from my days in university when I was working on my undergraduate project through to this point. Having a busy schedule we don’t get to interact as much but in one way or the other he has always been able to share an insight or two, guide my next steps and where possible I’ve applied them with positive returns. That’s the power of such networks but in all they are valuable when nurtured. Having been able to keep in touch I’m able to reconnect and think through the journey seeing how invaluable keeping in touch with them have been to me. I hope we can all do our best to keep in touch with each other and nurture the relationships we’ve got.
I remember reading “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho last year and towards the end he talks about the universe conspiring to help you realize your purpose on earth. I believe this happens through the interactions we make with people in the journey of life. Keeping in touch nurtures these relationships and gives them a chance to direct us in our paths to realizing our vocation. It’s a world of possibilities.