Sesséa Lidwine Ganmavo (Benin)

So many first times, and still you have to dare!

Cloth mask turned into clothing pageant washed every morning simultaneously with my personal belonging! Monthly budgeting of Artemisia (plant of the family of sagebrush, real bomb against malaria I’ve been told, and maybe in herbal medicine, a cure for this virus). Although the systematic washing of hands, with water and soap with or without bleach, throughout the day was part of my routine, I could not imagine that I would wash my hands when I went into a supermarket, a pharmacy even less in a bank, the hairdresser, in front of an ATM, in short after each activity or after exchanging an object with a third person. I was not before this pandemic, neither a woman who enjoyed the crowd baths, nor a partygoer but today, the little fun activities I had is reduced to the whole desert! The list of restrictions is so long! But basically, what has changed in my daily life? I was a sports fanatic, now I do not go to the gym anymore, I can’t do group sports anymore, I just walk 10 to 12 kms on Saturday and Sunday mornings. My body has changed, and I gained weight, because accustomed to many more exercises and movements. Some friends tell me I’m very pretty as well, but this body is not mine! An accounting manager by definition, I got out of traditional accounting at an early age and chose the Management aspect of my work. I am An Administrative Manager, Assistant in Organisation and Management in a project funded by the European Union. Unfortunately, this is the kind of job that doesn’t really allow you to consider a career plan beyond assistance. But imagine that with the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world realized that it was possible to work from anywhere on earth and be productive! And since, the project in which I work, is composed of international experts who during this period of health watch, preferred to return to their families, this created a boon for me to replace ‘assistance’ to the ‘coordination’ of the project. My superiors did not expressly tell me but tacitly I took the reins! Do you know how this happened? THE FEAR OF LOSING MY JOB! That’s what happened What is the use of an Assistant if there is no one to attend! I started to take initiatives, coordinate the actions of the Technical Assistants working from their respective countries, from the headquarters in Paris, and the beneficiaries to this project remained satistified. Professionally, I have gained a lot of experience, responsibilities and leadership since the beginning of this pandemic and today, I plan as soon as I have the opportunity, to do small training and certifications that will allow me later to consider evolving my career and apply why not for a position of project coordinator. I once told a friend that on the day of the great divide, I would say, ”I have no regrets”! My life at 40, is perpetuated by so many “first times” that the impact of the pandemic on my life is only a logical continuation of an astral plan!

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