The Blog

P1040980

Latest stories from Roman’s life: ‘The Blog’!


On the way back home!

IMG_4324

After a week’s long mission to Fiji and Tonga, finally on the way back to Bangkok. Writing this post from Sydney, where I have around 20 hours layover. Just about to have my breakfast, and then will go to explore the city a bit. Then taking a flight to Bangkok in the afternoon. I will write an account on my visit to the Pacific, once reaching Thailand. 

In the meanwhile, greetings to everyone!

Fiji and Tonga

Flag-Pins-Fiji-Tonga

A devastating Cyclone Gita is ravaging island nations of Tonga and Fiji, as I write this. While we do not have much news on the humanitarian situation yet, it is clear that the situation is likely to be dire. 

In order to seed up the humanitarian response to anticipated needs that people of Tonga and Fiji may have, I am set to travel first to Suva and then to Nuku’alofa tomorrow. 

I am likely to be in the Pacific for around 10 days. I will therefore not be going to Mongolia for a time being. 

Depending on my access to the Internet, I will be reporting my whereabouts and experiences, as the mission goes on.

A waiting game continues

IMG_4247

Tahir’s interview with the Canadian Embassy is done, and now we are waiting for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to get in touch with him and invite him for the medicals. We hope it will not take too long, but there is no indications on when we should expect it. All this waiting gives me a major stress. Even though I am aware that his case appears to be optimistic, I would really like it to be over, the soonest possible. Tahir’s life has been in a mess for so many years, and he deserves that things will turn around and that he would be able to become more independent, and in charge of his own destiny, rather than needing to make compromises that limit his aspirations. Tahir is okay here in Thailand, and there is nothing that he misses, when it comes to daily, basic needs. However, this being written, his situation does not allow him to develop his professional skills, or to fully follow his dreams. In a way, he lives in a golden cage, where he survives comfortably, but is not fully in charge of his destiny. This is not an easy situation to be with for anyone. Yes, I know that many people - also here in Bangkok, including his own community, are in a much worse situation. Nevertheless, I dream for the day to come, however selfish it sounds, when he is granted his right to settle in Canada and his refugee ordeal is over. I will miss him terribly, but will also be the happiest person on earth to see him taking the plane destined to Toronto.

The other day, I was thinking about his potential prospects in Canada. If he makes it there, it will surely be exciting, but also difficult. Settling in a new country is always complex. Surely, there will be lots of exciting experiences: learning new culture, meeting new friends, getting to know his new country. But then, there will be frustrations too: needing to catch up on so many levels, needing to make decisions on how involved he wants to be with his community versus embracing and opening to people from other communities and cultures, dealing with loneliness and homesickness. There may be financial worries, and many other challenges, Despite all these, I hope that he will be allowed to go trough all these exciting and frustrating stuff, free from a fear of hatred for whom he is, or he is not, not needing to worry about not being considered ‘legal’. He deserves it this privilege the same way that all the other human beings do.

So the waiting game continues, while we keep our hopes for his future high. 

On another note, I am preparing for my work related travel to Mongolia. I will be travelling to Ulaanbaatar, and then to the eastern part of the country next Sunday. While in Mongolia, we will be looking at the impact of the project that we support and that is meant to help the nomadic communities of herders to better cope with severe winter weather hazards (known as dzud). 

A fun weekend in Ko Si Chang

IMG_4276


Ko Si Chang is a small and rather unknown island, off the coast in eastern Thailand (near the city of Chon Buri). Despite its beautiful nature, it is hardly known to tourists. I am suspecting that the main reason being that the island is not home to a noisy nightlife. There are no bars there, and not many restaurants. Yet, one can find pretty much everything one needs for a comfortable visit though. The guesthouses are clean and cute, and have wonderful views (especially the ones on the western side of the island), there is plenty of seafood. Some pictures from the trip are available in the gallery under this link

I really needed some time in the island, so that I could think of plans for next few months. Tahir’s potential prospects of resettlement will bring lots of work in coming weeks, some stress, lots of changes, and hopefully lots of joy at the end. We need to prepare for all of this really well. 

The beginning of the year brought us some changes into our work too, so I was strategising my work priorities too. I will now be focusing less on particular countries, but then will get involved in policy and advocacy work that will involve the whole region of South Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific. Much of my work will go to issues around forced displacement, refugee movements, and disaster risk reduction and response to disasters. Serenity of Ko Si Chang was somehow helpful to look at all the challenges with some peace of mind, and allowed to re-charge the batteries.

Now, it is time to start preparing my next professional mission, which is likely to be Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia!


Another step towards Tahir’s resettlement has passed!

IMG_4068


The interview that Tahir had in the Embassy of Canada to Thailand was stressful. It all started at 1 pm and lasted until 5 pm. Four very, very long hours. I do not remember when I was so nervous in my life. The end result is splendid. The reviewing officer told Tahir that his interview had been successful and that he should expect a call for his medical check-up soon. You can only imagine how happy he is and how happy I am! We are not quite there yet, but the interview was absolutely crucial… The end of the process of granting Tahir a right to resettle to Canada should be easier, although still likely to take some months. So while, there is still some uncertainty, we are celebrating now!

I am also preparing for my next mission to Mongolia. If all goes according to the plan, I should be travelling to Ulaanbaatar in February. I will however write about these plans a little bit later. Today, it is time to celebrate Tahir’s success!

The interview

Canada flag


The Canadian Embassy has reached out to Tahir and invited him to come over for his resettlement interview… This is fantastic news, as I was worried that it would take them much, much longer to schedule it. The interview is scheduled in 2 days from today. I am starting being really nervous. Please keep your fingers crossed, if you can!

Enjoying family holiday in Koh Chang

IMG_4072


I have been enjoying travelling around eastern Thailand’s Koh Chang with Mama, Tahir and my Icelandic friends tremendously - so and so that I have not had a lot of time for writing any updates recently.

The island is precious. It is big enough not to get bored, but still cosy and not overdeveloped and overcrowded. Definitely, one of the nicest places in the country, which I have seen so far. We are taking lots of pictures, and will soon post them for you to admire!

Another excitement is that Tahir received a message from the Embassy of Canada, inviting him for an interview - the next important step towards his potential resettlement to Canada. The interview will take place still in January. We are a bit nervous, but hopeful! Keep your fingers crossed!

Eastern Thailand

IMG_1959


After reading of countless reviews, looking at maps, discussing with people concerned… We have decided that we (my Mum, my friends and I) will be spending some days in Koh Chang, one of Thailand’s islands in eastern part of the country. We will also spend a considerable amount of time exploring Bangkok and towns and villages around it. I can’t wait for the holiday to start!

Planning 2 weeks of holidays in Thailand!

UNADJUSTEDRAW_thumb_101d


My Icelandic friend Marta, and her daughter Bebba are landing here in Bangkok tomorrow. Then, my mother is flying in from Warsaw next Sunday. We will be altogether for around 3 weeks! All of us, we will be exploring Thailand. 

So I woke up to this nice 1st day of 2018, and now planning with Tahir, where we are going to take our guests. This is a rather pleasant start of the year! I shall definitely report, how the visit goes!

Happy New Year everyone!

Antonio Guterres’ message for 2018

Par7992132


A message for 2018 from the United Nation’s Secretary General: the world needs unity to survive. We are running out of time!

While worried with the state of our planet, I subscribe to the spirit of the SG’s appeal, and hope that it is not too late to act to have our planet saved for all of us to live peacefully and prosperously.

Roman’s Pages ® 2001 - 2018