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Waiting games

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Panama City, Panama, May 2021


The uncertainty over how COVID-19 pandemics plays out in the world, as well as a relative slow roll-out of vaccines make all of us to be 'on hold', at least to some extent. This is also true for me. While I should be travelling around for my humanitarian missions, I am in a waiting mode. Although, I have already received my first does of the vaccine, there is still no news on when I may expect the second one to be administered, and this in itself puts most of my plans in jeopardy, or at least on hold. I just can't afford to leave Panama, knowing that they may call me to get the shot when I am far away. Also, as the countries keep on changing their biosecurity measures every now and then, it is really difficult to plan my work. There is a huge difference, when it comes to plans, if I am allowed to travel without long quarantines, or whether I would need to take them into consideration. I guess, there is not much that I can do about it, but being patient.

While stuck, I am trying to enjoy my prolonged stay in Panama City. Recently, I restarted my Portuguese lessons, so that I can separate my Spanish from Portuguese, or in other words, stop using 'Portughnol' (a phenomena, where people mix the two of these languages). The lessons are fun, and I am enjoying them a lot.

I am also trying to make new friends in the city. Somehow, I have managed to meet some new people recently, which is exciting and interesting.

If things go well (depending on receiving the date for the second vaccination), I might decide to go for a short break at the end of May. I do have a potential one week off to be taken, and consider visiting some parts of western Panama, or alternatively visit my friends in Mexico. I guess, I will be deciding in a last moment, and will not fail to let you know on this blog.

Family in Poland and Canada are all well. Great news that Mum, my brother and his wife, as well as Tahir are all vaccinated against COVID-19 (fully, or after the first dose). This somehow puts me at ease a little bit more!

Like many of us, I am following with a great concern the recent increase of tensions between Palestine and Israel. I know that reaching any kind of meaningful solution that would satisfy everyone is next to impossible at the moment, but somehow I hope that those in power will manage to back-off with unreasonable demands and start talking. The innocent people do not need to suffer the way they are doing now!

Closer to Panama, we are all very worried about the situation in Colombia too. The violent protests do not seem to be easing at all, and there is an urgent need to deescalate as well. As Colombia is within the region, where I work, the situation there, directly puts pressure on our own work, as a humanitarian agency, so that we are able to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable there.