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One week left

With Mum in Krynica, Poland, January 2023

It's just one week until I board the plane to take me to Istanbul and then to Krakow. Finally, I'm going home! I love my work, and I certainly enjoy working in Venezuela, but I feel it's time to visit my loved ones in Poland.

For various reasons, this year it works for me to take a slightly longer break. I'm leaving Venezuela for three weeks, which for me is a lot of time. The good thing about it is that we can fit in some exciting adventures. You may remember that Mum and I will be taking the opportunity
to travel to Japan for around 10 days, which we both so much look forward to.

Another highlight is that when in Warsaw, I will be meeting one of my best friends, Lucy! Lucy is a humanitarian worker from Australia and I first met her in Addis Ababa in 2009, when I still worked for Oxfam. We clicked from the very beginning and became friends. I owe Lucy so many things in life: support with the relocation of Tahir, unconditional friendship, adventures, but above all, I dare say, my life. When we met, I was obese, and my weight was over 102 kg. I was so overweight that I actually thought I was going to die within the next few months. I couldn't breathe, I had problems walking, facing any physical challenge. I didn't know how to manage that situation.

With Lucy and Coree in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (still very heavily overweight, before changing my lifestyle), March 2009

And then Lucy came and asked me, "Do you really want to lose weight?" "You won't need to be hungry," she said, a message that resonates with me even today. It was hunger that always defeated me whenever I tried to lose weight before. She taught me how to eat, how not to stress, how to enjoy the progress of being fitter, how to lose weight sustainably so it wouldn't come back. All with amazing respect, patience, and love. Lucy saved me in so many ways. I will always be grateful to her. While Lucy did many other amazing things for me, I will cherish her for being my best teacher and friend. No wonder I'm getting excited to meet her. And the best part is that we are meeting Lucy together with my Mum, on the way to Tokyo!

Thank you Lucy! I look so much forward to meeting you soon!