Alcobaca, Portugal, August 2021
What a wonderful irony!
Some years back, I applied to become a naturalised citizen of Portugal. I really love the country and wanted to have the official ties to it by having her nationality, since it became my second home in Europe, after buying our house in Obidos. However, I also need to admit that my decision of wanting to naturalise was my fear of the (still) present Government of Poland, which came to power in 2015.
And now, on 17th October 2023, the very day when the Polish Voting Commission announced results of the parliamentary elections confirming that the very government I disapprove so vividly would not be able to form a parliamentary majority (thus would lose the power in Poland), I received the confirmation that my application to become a naturalised citizen of Portugal is approved.
I am now becoming a dual Portuguese-Polish citizen.
I am overjoyed!
Centre of Colonia Tovar, Venezuela, October 2023
Last weekend was great. I finally managed to leave Caracas. Together with Leo (my colleague/assistant here in Venezuela), we went to explore the place called Colonia Tovar, a small village, tucked in the valleys of the mountains, some 80 km west from the capital.
I loved the village a lot. Okay, it seems to be more German than the actual villages in southern Germany (as commented by my German friends, who saw the pictures from the trip), but I found it very charming and relaxing. I especially liked the nature though. Dramatic colours, amazing views, breathtaking vegetation. Really loved it. I also enjoyed observing how much Leo seemed to have enjoyed the trip as well. It was his first time to see the place, and he appreciated it very much, also because, he has not had chance to travel around his country a lot. I am already planning my next visit there!
The coming weekend will be less fun, I am afraid. We are having parliamentary elections in Poland and it will be observing it with lots of anxiety. I will actually have a chance to vote as well (on Saturday), but the exit polls will only be available on Sunday evening (Sunday afternoon Venezuela time). The available polls are not too optimistic, so I am actually preparing for a disappointment.
The last week of October, I will be travelling to southern Venezuela for work. I will be visiting some of the humanitarian projects that my organisation is supporting in Apure State. I have not been to the field for a while and I am very excited to go, also to get a bit of a boost and remind myself why we do this work. When you stay in offices for too long, you tend to lose touch with reality. I am therefore trying to make sure to get out of my comfortable bubble as much as I can.
Finally, at the end of November, I will be travelling to Europe. I am fixing my tickets already. The plan is to do my Portugal home visit, but also travel to Dubrovnik in Croatia. I have not been to Croatia yet, so very excited by the prospects. If I actually manage to get there, as planned, Croatia will become my 27th country I will have visited in the EU, thus completing the aim to travel to all member states of the European Union 💪🏽.
Rzeszow, Poland, April 2022
October 2023 has arrived this weekend. I am fearing it is going to be an exciting month, and not necessarily in a good way.
We are starting off with the parliamentary elections in Slovakia. The first results and political predictions are not very encouraging, as far as I am concerned. Populism seems to have won hearts of many Slovaks, and obviously that worries me.
Then Poland's elections are approaching too. In two weeks we will be voting. I am worried of the results. I am expecting the results to be devastating for the situation in the country and Europe with underlying divisions in the society to be more visible than ever. Anti-migrant sentiments and overall xenophobia scare me but are sadly becoming the main stream ideology in Poland these days.
The politics is not everything in life, but is its part that has a huge impact on our lives, so somehow, I feel uneasy, even if I want to distract my mind from following what is happening back home.
On a positive note, I should be travelling to southern Venezuela for work at the end of the months, and this makes me very happy. I am also arranging my holidays, which I should be taking in November. Although nothing is written in stone yet, I may be going to Portugal and Croatia this time around.