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Packing and preparing for the trip to Europe

An evening walk at Cinta Costera, while preparing for the trip to Europe, Panama City, Panama, August 2021

Covid test, check; bags packed, check; out of office message set, check…

I am ready to be travelling to Portugal tomorrow. It is a stressful and busy packing. The earthquake in Haiti has put lots of pressure and additional work on us, and it has been hard to follow everything, I need to admit, also because my attention and mind is in Afghanistan these days…

There is so much being told about Talibans and the country, and clearly it brings my memories from that country too. Some of you know, or may remember that I used to live and work in Afghanistan in 1999 (for a year), meaning that I have some experience of life under the rule of Taliban.

You will not be that surprised to read, I gather that I join the opinion of mistrusting the recent statements of the Talibans on respecting rights of women, or not taking a revenge on people who had thought against them. I still vividly remember their ill treatment of people who dared thinking differently and cruelty of punishments that they exercised on people, who had committed crimes within the framework they established. Above all however, I remember Taliban being corrupt and not respecting the rules they established themselves. So no, I do not believe they have miraculously changed, and yes, I am dead worried about the fate of so many people in the country, especially girls and women, needless to point out.

Let's see what life brings, but I hope that the least that we all can do is supporting actions and forces that would enable those who decide to and manage to flee Afghanistan in creating the new beginnings in their new homes. I wish we all have maturity and compassion to make this happen.