View on Costa del Leste, Panama City, Panama, June 2023
It is hard to believe but I am leaving Panama in less than a month. I will surely prepare a small write-up of my four years in Panama and on this continent in some days, but wanted to update you all that all goes well here.
I am now in full swing of preparing everything for my departure, but also for my holidays and then arrival to Venezuela. So I am arranging the handover of my card, packing my belongings, dealing with administrative stuff, but also writing up my professional handover report, and preparing my briefings with people that will be taking over my responsibilities from me.
At the same time, I am quite busy coordinating with Mum on preparing our trip to Madagascar… trying to make sure that we have our malaria tablets, vaccinations ready, and also that we actually prepare ourselves in terms of planning the trip so it is fun and interesting.
Finally, I am trying to make sure that I am not lagging behind with arrangements for Venezuela. Now, the biggest challenge is to get my visa for the country, so I can actually legally enter Venezuela and start my new duties, hopefully in August. Most of the visa process will need to take place remotely in Caracas, but physically, I should be getting the actual document stamped into my passport at the Consulate of Venezuela in Warsaw.
Everything seems a bit chaotic at the moment, but eventually things progress, which is the most important.
Finally, you may remember that my friend, Christine, was visiting me here from Atlanta last weekend. It was absolutely great having her here, and show her a bit of my favourite parts of the city and its surroundings. Clearly, the best part was staying together, chatting and catching up. These few days with Christine made me remember again, how much I value and appreciate her! Can't wait to meet her again soon somewhere! Before that happens, you might want to check out some pictures from our time together (click here to access the album).
Mum and I will be visiting Nosy Be of Madagascar in July 2023
I feel emotional like a child today. I can't contain excitement and am very happy! The reason? I am taking Mum to Africa for the first time ever!
Between my deployments in Panama and Venezuela, I will have three weeks of holidays, and with all star aligning, I found this incredible trip to Madagascar that fit my plans perfectly: easy to accommodate, as there are direct flights from Warsaw (therefore the transfers are quick and relatively not too tiring), and right in the dates seem perfect too… Long enough to have a taste of the country but shortish to still enjoy Europe and prepare my coming to Venezuela afterwards.
You may very well know that I love Africa and her countries. Cultural variety, nature, kindness of people. It is the continent that fascinates and amazes me in every sense. I have always dreamt that my Mum has a chance to taste it too. The dreams seem to be coming true at last! Needless to say, I am even more excited, because although I have been to many countries in the continent, it will be my first time in Madagascar, whose beauty is renowned the world over! You probably are aware that many species (fauna and flora) are very unique to Madagascar and can be found only there. The Indian Ocean surrounding the country makes it even more pleasing, given some of the most amazing beaches in the world, and indeed the marital life is meant to be breathtaking too. The friendly people, (as I am told), their cuisine full of spices, dances and music only appear to make it a perfect spot to have a 'paradise like' experience. I can't wait!
My preparations for leaving Panama and starting my next deployment in Venezuela are advancing too. Work wise, I am drafting my end of deployment reports, and also reading a lot about the country where I am going to live for next four years. Practically, I am getting ready to pack my stuff, end my accommodation contracts, and conversely open reserve/book places where I will live in Caracas. I am not fun of all the administrative work at all, but these occasional changes give you a chance to reflect on your life a bit, and I think, I am already getting a bit sentimental.
Finally, in 5 days, my wonderful friend, who lives in Atlanta, will come and visit me here in Panama City for the weekend! We are going to have so much fun!
I hope, you are all well, wherever you may be!