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'News from Roman' is a place where I write about events or experiences that are important to me for one or another reason. It is a space where family and friends can get themselves updated on my latest undertakings, and where occasional readers can learn about issues which are important to me.

Delayed Christmas celebrations

As during Christmas Day, I was away in the tsunami affected parts of western Java in Indonesia, my Ethiopian and German friends decided to spend a Sunday evening with me last night, as a compensation of the lost opportunity of not being able to be together on 25th December. As we started eating, we realised that it was time when the Eastern Orthodox Christians were gearing up for their own Christmas celebrations, and since most of Ethiopians are Coptic Christians, we actually ended up having a Coptic Christmas dinner! Of course, just to add to the internationalism, the dinner took place in Bangkok and none of us thought there was anything strange about an Ethiopian, a German and a Pole cherishing the Eastern Orthodox holiday in the Buddhist country! Real joys of multi-cultural living! I will just add that we had a wonderful time, with some great conversations in a cosy setting.

The natural-disaster weekend finished with slightly less drama than it could have been. The tropical depressions, storms and cyclones did make considerable damage in Thailand, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Marshall Islands, but in all honesty, things could have been much worse. So it is with a great relief that I ended the weekend, knowing that there was no need for a massive scale humanitarian operation and that the affected communities should be able to cope in getting back on their feet on their in most cases.

I just hope that things will remain less exciting in terms of disasters in weeks to come. I am a bit tired, and would be happy to stay in Thailand, without travelling for some days, especially as I will be moving non-stop for at least 2 months, as of 25th January. Fingers crossed on that!

I am in constant touch with Tahir, of course. As I have not reported on his well-being for a while, just wanted to reassure everyone that he was fine and happy. His work is fine, he is independent, and we are working out his training options for his (slightly more challenging). I am very excited that I will be able to see him in 3 weeks, so that we can catch up, and I can provide to him some insights of what he may want to pursue in terms of educational courses.

I hope that you are are having a good beginning of 2019!