Nazare, Portugal, August 2021
I will be on the plane to Lisbon in less then two weeks! I can't wait… I have not been to Portugal for far too long now, and it is definitely time to go and visit my favourite place on earth! I really hope that this trip to the country is going to be really special. I am going to be celebrating my 50th birthday anniversary, and my family (mum, and my brother's family) will all be there. A little sad that Tahir will not be able to join after all, but then, we do have plans to meet later during the winter, somewhere in Central America (makes it less sad that he would not be in Portugal). The trip to Portugal should also be special, as we are planning to visit Madeira. The island is supposed to be having a very special microclimate, resembling European spring, all-year long! Can't wait!
After visiting Portugal, I will be busy with following-up on the refugee projects in Chile. If all goes according to plans, I will be travelling to Santiago and then northern part of Chile in December, just before Christmas. Look forward to this as well, as I enjoy working on projects dealing with well-being of refugees, and certainly much to be done in that respect in Chile.
It is difficult to believe that it is already time to start thinking of my next posting after Panama. Next summer, I will finishing my assignment here, and it is already time to start bidding for my next post for our rotation in 2023. I have already officially expressed interests in some of the posts, but will inform you of the outcome, when I have more conclusive news!
ECHO Office in Ciudad del Saber, Panama City, Panama, October 2022
Since my return from Argentina, we have been busy with various disasters in the region. First, we had massive rains across Central America, then the hurricane Fiona devastated (literally) western Cuba (as well as Florida in the United States). At the same time, we are dealing with the cholera outbreak in Haiti, and preparing for a possible emergency in Nicaragua and Honduras from the approaching hurricane called Julia (expected to make a landing tomorrow). All of these events are tragic for the affected people, but also makes us very busy here at the regional office. I am now preparing for a possible emergency deployment to either Nicaragua or Honduras if the situation is really bad, but we will assess it and decide tomorrow or on Monday.
In other news, we finally managed to move to a new office building in Ciudad del Saber. Our office has a very modern and friendly design, and is situation in a lovely park. Looking outside of the window (see above) is a joy for eyes and makes half of the stresses go away!
I am also preparing for my birthday trip to Europe, which is exciting. My family and I will be touring Portugal together. A bit of a blow is that Tahir will not be able to join us, as he has just lost his passport, and it will take a while for the replacement to be done. I looked forward to seeing him in Europe and show him around Portugal, but I guess, we will need to wait with it for another opportunity. Nevertheless, despite being disappointed that he would not be there, I am still excited to a prospect of having the rest of the family there!
I will be updating you soon on how the situation in the Caribbean and Central America develops. Keep the fingers crossed so that 'Julia' is not too devastating. In the meanwhile, please accept my warmest regards wherever in the world you are!