Fall 2019 – Entry 1

Hello everyone, I’m back. It’s a new semester which means new blog posts; but are you surprised?

Here is the link to the Sierra Leone blog: https://wordpress.lehigh.edu/sicklecellscreening/

Go check it out!

And now, a brief reflection on Sierra Leone.


  1. I learned how to communicate an idea/plan clearly and concisely. Along with that, I learned how to present myself as an entrepreneur/scientist instead of just a college student.
  2. I learned to adapt, and improvise plans. By the end of the trip, not only did I how to accept them but I knew to embrace them because they resulted in some of the best experiences.
  3. The trip also taught me how important it is to build a community with the people you are working with. Knowing and caring about the people you work/live with not only makes work more interesting and enjoyable but it also greatly befits you. People are more willing to help you out and get things done for you when they know you would do the same for them.


  1. Working with a partner but also everyone (the group) taught me patience and how to collaborate instead of immediately imposing my own thoughts.
  2. During the trip we networked (set up in person meetings with everyone available who was in country) with almost everyone involved with sickle cell in Sierra Leone. We now have connections with people involved in all of the different aspects of solving a disease.
    1. medical field
      1. medical professionals (all levels)
      2. medical supervisors
    2. NGO aspect
    3. Larger health entity (WHO)
    4. Organizations
      1. SCCAN
      2. Sickle Cell Society
  3. Finally I learned how to “just go for it”. This might not make any sense but I learned how to appropriately ask people for their help/knowledge even though they had no idea we were coming to visit (clinic visits). 


  1. I learned how invested I am in this project and how much I want a clinical trial and program for treatment (and follow up study) to be set up for next summer. 
  2. I learned how to advocate for myself and my ideas. Along with that I become a leader within my project and realized passion plays a huge role with leadership, age and seniority does not and should not play a role within leadership.
  3. Finally, I learned how to reach out for help/ideas when stuck in a rut and learned to used all of my resources (Hassan and the health clinics, Mark and the boiled eggs/avocados, etcetera).