I am a medical student at Barts and The London. In 2016 I took a year off to pursue some interests of mine, which led to seven extremely fulfilling weeks with THENA's Chronic NCD Programme in Jimma, Ethiopia. I had arranged with the THENA team to contribute to a study at five rural health centres around Jimma that have established NCD clinics. Through this study we explored the reasons that lead some patients not to attend their follow up appointments. We travelled between clinics, collected data from patient files, and trained health professionals to follow up with patients by visiting them at their homes and capturing their reasons for non-attendance. Whilst there, I met health workers and patients and learnt a lot about medicine in a resource-poor area. I had to be independent and deal with arising problems, and learnt new skills of leadership, data collection and financial management.