I just got back to Bangkok after spending 2 weeks in Europe. Feeling completely jet-lagged. I could not sleep at night, but would be more than happy to sleep now… in the middle of the day.
Just watching CNN, and realising that we are heading into the next catastrophe. Without a doubt, we will have Trump as the next president of the United States. I would not be that bothered, except that the US is a global power after all, and his election will have the major consequences for all of us, regardless of where we live. Somehow not having lots of good feelings about the future… I am actually quite scared, to be honest. Just wondering whether we should all be preparing for the 3rd World War, and accepting it that we may not be able to live in peace, as the world, for much longer? Brrrr… I hope that I am just pessimistic.
Still trying to remain cheerful somehow. It seems like it will be Obidos, a little village in Portugal that will become my future base (given that things will not turn out to be that disastrous in the world, that is…). Look how amazing the place seems to be: www.obidos.pt.
I will be here in Bangkok for two weeks or so. Will watch the developments in the USA anxiously, while preparing for my trip to Bangladesh, which is likely to happen still in November.
Quite unexpectedly, I have been asked to hold a position of an interim head of office for Bangladesh. The arrangement is due to start in mid-November and carry out for 4 months. I am not saying ‘good-bye’ to Thailand though. The plan is that I will still be in Bangkok often, e.g. 3 weeks in Dhaka and 1 week in Bangkok every month. Exciting times!
Tomorrow morning, I am off to Europe. I will first be in Brussels for work, then travelling to Lisbon to visit my newly adopted country, and finally for some meetings in Oslo. It will be a hectic trip… all needs to fit in within 2 weeks. It should also be fun too!
As may you know, recently Tahir has been awarded with an official UNHCR refugee status. This means that after a very, very long waiting period, he technically is eligible to ask third countries for the resettlement out of Thailand (given that Thailand does not offer any legal provisions for him to settle down here).
For Tahir, the UNHCR awarded status is not only highly practical but also symbolic. The international organisation, helping the refugees, has officially confirmed that Tahir’s life in Pakistan is endangered and that the country (Pakistan) does not offer necessary protection to live there peacefully and happily. Personally knowing Tahir’s story, I only can rejoice and applaud!
Following the news from UNHCR, many, many of you have stepped up in trying to help us in various ways to secure Tahir’s safe future. While, I hope that there will be opportunities to write more about it in the future, today, both Tahir and I would like to thank you all for generosity and solidarity that so many of you have shown in our efforts of ‘restarting his life'. The list of people who have helped is very long, and includes those of you supporting the case financially, but also in so many other ways: trying to find ways to keep Tahir safe here in Thailand, or finding ways to get him to safety in Australia, Poland, or Canada.
We have not yet managed to achieve our ultimate goal, e.g.: secure his safe stay in Thailand or his resettlement to the third country, but we will continue working towards the successful resolution as hard as we can, and on as many fronts as it is only humanely possible. With your support, we trust, this will be possible. Today however it is time to cherish the moment! We would like to underline that your recent offers of help in various forms have been humbling and heart warming! You are all a proof that people are wonderful to one another!
THANK YOU so much for all what you have done!
This trip has been going far too smoothly… Finally, on the last stretch to Bangkok, Aeroflot has done it… they announced that the plane will leave Sheremietievo 2 hours late. Well, good news is that I have a moment to write to you briefly.
Last few weeks have been very busy and exciting. I should write more properly on each of it, but given that writing at the airport is not so comfortable, just some highlights:
1. We are at the end of the application process for Tahir’s relocation visa to Canada. A pre-condition for that was to fundraise at least €8.000 for a bond/deposit to be paid to the Government of Canada. Pleased to tell you that through amazing generosity of many of you, we have managed to collect all the money (and more)!
2. The Triplex Simulation (response to a disaster) has been very interesting. I met lots of new and interesting people (and some old friends too). And yes, Norwegian countryside is amazingly beautiful!
3. Poland continues to depress me. The recent developments in the country make me hate my own state. On the other hand, there is some amazing resistance to some of the most depressing total abortion plans by the amazing women… Go on and discover all about #blackprotest.
4. October will be busy. I will just get back to Bangkok to travel to Brussels soon after. All will be documented and reported!