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'News from Roman' is a place where I write about events or experiences that are important to me for one or another reason. It is a space where family and friends can get themselves updated on my latest undertakings, and where occasional readers can learn about issues which are important to me.

Upcoming humanitarian missions

I may be excited with lots of changes in my life: new apartment, new friends, and a new city to live in, but the main reason why I am in Panama is my humanitarian service that I am meant to be providing to the communities in need in various countries of the region.

Although, I still need to get into a full swing, when it comes to work, I am already making some plans for my next work related missions.

As it seems now, I will soon (first week of September) be travelling to Venezuela, where I am going to spend some time learning about the latest situation of those, who are affected by the ongoing crisis. Right after that, I would be travelling to Bogota in Colombia, where I am going to learn a bit more on the situation of the Venezuelan refugees in the country. Finally, I am also preparing to travel to Curacao and Bonaire in the Caribbean Sea, where I am mean to be participating in the disaster simulation exercise arranged by the Civil Protection Agency of the Netherlands.

As usual, I will be sharing thoughts and my experiences, as these journeys actually take place.

Moving to my new flat?

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_126a1A view from a roof balcony of the flat that I would like to live it, Casco Viejo, Panama City

It is not a deal done yet, but I may have found a flat in Panama City, where I would like to live in. It is a small place, yet very cozy, in an old building in Casco Viejo, the old part of Panama City.

Despite being in an old building, the flat is renovated and has all the modern amenities one needs in contemporary life. What I love about it is its location. Casco Viejo is charming. The place has countless of narrow streets, and beautiful colonial style houses, shops, churches and monuments on smaller and larger squares. Panamanians seem to love their history, and unlike a lot of the cities that I know in Asia, they loving restore and look after their architectural heritage rather than bulldoze old building to make space for new skyscrapers (which are also built, but in a different part of the city).

What seems amazing about Casco Viejo are its inhabitants. I already met so many people there, who simply embraced me to their lives and invited me to participate in the life of the community like if they had known me for ever. I have already managed to listen to a concert of the classical music in one of the houses of the would be neighbour (marking 500 years of foundation of Panama City, which happens to take place now).

A concert in honour of foundation of Panama City, in one of the houses of Casco Viejo.

I have a good feeling about my new place, new city, new country and new work. And even if things are not settled yet, I look into the future with excitement and optimism!

Getting used to my new home!

It has been a busy and a bit tiring week. Busy: as there are so many things to do, think of and look after when settling down in a new country and continent. Tiring: as still flighting the jet-lag, getting used to a very humid weather, pushing your brain to be able to understand as much as possible in a new language (and learn it).

Everything is very exciting though. Colleagues, I will be working with all seem very kind, generous, and above all professional. I am getting lots of thing sorted, including my accommodation, which for practical reason is important now. Then, I am also getting my head around the humanitarian situation in the countries around, and already planning my first work missions. Nothing is written in stone, but I may be travelling to Venezuela in a near future, and then later to Curacao in the Caribbeans.

I will soon post some pictures from the city (and my new flat), and will make sure that I share some of my first impressions too.

For now, just wanted to let you all know that all goes well!

In Panama City

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1267bCasco, the Old Town in Panama City

Still terribly jet-lagged and tired, but happy to have arrived to Panama City. I will soon be reporting on how things are in my new country and share with you my experiences from the Americas. So far, everything sounds and looks really exciting and promising!

Before that happens, I am thrilled to share with you some pictures from my stay in Europe. Visiting Mum, family and friends, and hosting Tahir was absolutely wonderful! I loved every moment of it! Here are some images that you may want to see:

Showing Tahir Poland and Slovakia
The epic trip around Europe
Last moments in Poland before moving to Panama
A bit of Los Angeles from a car

Greetings to you all, wherever you are in the world!

Good bye, Thailand

Athenee Tower, Bangkok. The building where my office is located.

So it all happened. I returned my work laptop, handed over the office keys, and left the Athenee Tower building for the last time. My Thailand life chapter is coming to the end. Tomorrow, I am flying out of the country.

My last days in the office was really nice. I managed to finish all of my pending tasks, and then met with colleagues a bit less formally to offer them my appreciation and thank them for the common time, we spent together.

In the evening, some of my colleagues, and friends from other walks of life, and I went to a small bar in the neighbourhood to have a glass of wine. It was a splendid evening, full of laughter and memories of the Thailand time. I will have very fond memories of the country and my time here!

Now it is time to travel home to Poland, to meet Mum, Tahir (who got his visa), family and friends!

Thank you, Thailand! Thank you, beautiful people. I will miss you, but I hope to be able to visit again!

Muay Thai experience

My last week in Thailand brought me a rather unexpected experience. Last Sunday, I ended up going for a Muay Thai fight… Yes, I am as surprised, as you may be. I am not a fan of fights of any kind (including sports), but then, I promised that I would see this traditional Thai game before leaving the country. As promise is a promise, we did go…

Although, I was not necessarily impressed with the show itself, I was very surprised how international and popular this sport is. There were spectators from all over the world, and the competitors represented all continents of the globe. It felt very international and lively, and I enjoyed and appreciated it. I even met a contestant from Portugal and I chatted with him in Portuguese too. This definitely added to the charm of the evening!

Today, it is Tuesday evening already, and I am finishing my last practical arrangements before leaving Thailand on Sunday. It is a bit stressful to leave all the people that I like behind, but then I am excited to travel to Nowy Sacz, and I am looking forward to starting my new chapter of life in Panama City.

Last weekend in Bangkok

A mural at one of the many narrow streets of Bangkok's China Town.

It is Saturday morning, and I am having my coffee. Looking outside of my bedroom window, and realising that it is one of the last time that I am enjoying that view. It is my last weekend in Bangkok… Next Saturday at this time, my bags will be done, and I will be ready to travel.

What happens in a week, happens in a week… I am planning to have some good time beforehand. It is raining a lot these days, so perhaps, I will need to be flexible, but the plan is to spend lots of my free time in Bangkok's China Town, and also eastern parts of the city, where the canals are. The modern Bangkok is impressive, but it is the older parts, less tidy, and more chaotic that I like much more. I would like to leave this city with the memory of what I like, and hence the choice of spending time in the old part.

The eruptions of volcanoes in Papua New Guinea put some last challenges on me professionally. As I write this post around 15,000 needed to flee their homes, out of the fear that their homes could be destroyed by hot lava and ashes coming from the fuming mountains. As it goes with volcanoes, it is difficult to predict, which way things will go… The situation can develop into something really tragic, but then the eruptions can stop too, and things may well go back to their 'normal'. Hope the latter is going to be the case.

Attack on refugees in Libya: all governments of the EU are co-responsible for the death of the innocent people

refugees welcome
I got really shaken by the this news today… The death toll and the injuries of the people is shaking… not only because this tragic situation happened in the first place, but also, because it is the policies of the European Union's member state governments (all of the governments of the EU, without any exception) towards the refugees, and fear mongering, which are largely to blame for the death and suffering of so many… I feel ashamed to be European today, I feel outraged that we are not doing what it takes to protect those we should be helping unconditionally and without hesitation… Very sad!