welcome to romanmajcher.eu 'News from Roman' is where you can learn about the latest events, experiences and adventures from my personal and professional life.

Packing for an exciting trip to DPR of Korea

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e05e
Pyongyang, City Centre; Picture taken in 2015

My visa for DPRK is finally in my passport, and I am ready to fly to Pyongyang tomorrow night. I am very excited to be visiting the country again. I went to DPRK, when I took my assignment in Thailand, and going there again, just before finishing… A nice way to say goodbye to Asia.

But when we are in DPRK, we will be travelling around the country and trying understand the humanitarian needs of the people following rather severe food deficits that are reported.

I guess, I will not be able to make updates when I am in DPRK, but I will happily update you on the experiences, as soon as I am back to Thailand.

Today, I spent most parts of the day flat searching for Panama. I have visited quite a few websites listing properties for rent. I was exploring various neighbourhoods. All places seem to have some advantages and some flaws… Obviously, it is difficult to make a judgment without knowledge of the country and thousands of kilometres away. Nevertheless, exploring the websites gave me some ideas what to expect and look for.

Hoping that you are all well, reading it. Please look after yourselves and I will be in touch in a little over a week, after returning from Korea.

Humanitarian missions and plans for coming weeks

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_11cbc
Bangkok's China Town

It took me a while to fight my jet-lag after a trip from Toronto to Bangkok via Warsaw and Singapore. Last week was painful. I was wide awake at nights, and very sleepy during days. Saturday that has just passed, allowed me to stabilise a bit and today, on Sunday, I am feeling I am back to my normal!

But tomorrow, I am already travelling for work to San Francisco in the Philippines (not the one in the USA), where together with my colleagues, we will be visiting some of the projects that my organisation supports (meant to prepare the communities to potential natural disasters). San Franciso is a town in southern island of Mindanao, not far from Davao. It will be my first time in that part of the island, which obviously is exciting. I am also very eager to learn about what actions our NGO partners undertake to help communities cope with disasters (which are so common in this part of the world). Working in Mindanao is ever more challenging, as communities are confronted with an ongoing conflict and security threats related to it. When dealing with preparedness to natural disasters, it is important to take into consideration conflict dynamics too. Conflicts make disaster risk reduction (DRR) complicated and difficult, but in the same time, much more rewarding, if successful.

Right after returning from the Philippines, I will be preparing to the trip to Pyongyang in DPR of Korea. It will be my second time in the country, and this time in the winter. Again, when in the country, we will be trying to work out how we can support the communities in their preparedness to disasters in the context the country. When in DPRK, I am hoping to travel out of the capital city as well. I am not likely to be very connected to the web, when I am there, so I will have a break from updating this page for sometime. When I am online again, I shall surely report on the trips and adventures!

In my last post, I told you that I would be moving to Panama in the middle of the year. As time passes by, I get really excited by it. Started doing my readings about the countries of the region (including Panama itself), and got my Spanish books out, so that I can start refreshing my language. Very exciting indeed. Before Panama becomes a reality, I hope that I will still have lots of adventures in Asia. I am holding my breath then!

Moving to Panama City in July 2019

Panama flag
It appears that I will be moving to Panama City in the middle of 2019. As of July I am meant to be taking over the responsibilities for following up on humanitarian emergencies in Latin America and Caribbean islands.

New responsibilities, new part of the world, new languages… I am very, very excited. And a bonus is that I will be close to Canada, meaning that it will be easier to visit Tahir!

More news to come soon! In the meanwhile, greetings to everyone!

Enjoying my time off

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_11c56
Niagara Falls, Canada; Photo credit: Tahir Rana

It seems like I was barely taking a plane out of Bangkok to take me to Poland, and now, two weeks later, I am here in Canada, packing to start the journey back to Thailand.

Travelling with Mum around Ukraine, spending time with family in Krakow, and then touring Montreal and Toronto with Zosia (my niece) and Tahir have all been absolutely special and wonderful. We did have some unexpected adventures (we all got sick in Canada), but this did not stop us from having lots of fun and enjoy one another's company.
Here comes the link to the photo journal from the trip. Enjoy it!

It will be sad to be leaving Tahir behind tomorrow, but then, it is comforting to know that we should be able to see very soon again!