I spent the second half of October in Geneva, Switzerland (after spending the first half of October in a crazed frenzy preparing for Switzerland!) Here’s what I was grateful for in October 2013:
1. First and foremost, the opportunity to work at the WHO, the whole reason I am in Geneva. It goes without saying, that this is a wonderful opportunity and one I am incredibly grateful for. The work I am doing is by far the most interesting and exciting work I’ve ever done and I am learning so much. My work has included assisting with the response to the polio outbreak in Syria, preparing the draft brief to the participants for CHOGM 2013, acting as Rapporteur for the Polio Partners Meeting, and attending the SAGE meetings. I look forward to going into the office every single day. These are the buildings and the view from my office at sunset (the picture doesn’t do the snow-capped mountains justice).
2. The great bunch of people I am working with. Not only is my work incredible, I’ve connected with so many awesome, like-minded folk. I have had numerous rewarding conversations with new friends that make me feel understood and challenged on an intellectual level. Also, they are a social lot – and we’ve shared some awesome hikes and dinners as well as chats.
3. The opportunity to improve my French. I’ve picked up some French lessons again and am enjoying slowly improving my confidence and vocabulary in le francais. This is Unimail, where I am taking lessons.
4. The opportunity to simply BE here and spend time getting to know Geneva. Every day, I fall more and more in love with this gorgeous city, which has easily become one of my favourite cities in the world (along with Bogota, Colombia; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Istanbul, Turkey). There are so many things I love about Geneva, in particular…
5. Lake Geneva/Lac Leman, the most beautiful body of water I have ever laid eyes on.
6. Amazing markets, full of beautiful vintage things… and delicious things like cheese and chocolate.
7. Autumn… again! I get to experience my favourite season twice in one year, this time with more colour.
8. Mountains. This is the top of Saleve (with Geneva below) and La Jura, a hike I did with work friends.
Photo by my colleague and friend Stan, hiking La Jura
9. A beautiful and comfortable turn-of-the-century apartment to stay in for one month, which made me so happy to come home to every night
10. Back in Australia (last but certainly not least) my beautiful friends, Tara and Dan, who turned 24 on the same day this month. SO lucky to have these two as friends.
What were you grateful for in October?