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Humanitarian missions and plans for coming weeks

Bangkok's China Town

It took me a while to fight my jet-lag after a trip from Toronto to Bangkok via Warsaw and Singapore. Last week was painful. I was wide awake at nights, and very sleepy during days. Saturday that has just passed, allowed me to stabilise a bit and today, on Sunday, I am feeling I am back to my normal!

But tomorrow, I am already travelling for work to San Francisco in the Philippines (not the one in the USA), where together with my colleagues, we will be visiting some of the projects that my organisation supports (meant to prepare the communities to potential natural disasters). San Franciso is a town in southern island of Mindanao, not far from Davao. It will be my first time in that part of the island, which obviously is exciting. I am also very eager to learn about what actions our NGO partners undertake to help communities cope with disasters (which are so common in this part of the world). Working in Mindanao is ever more challenging, as communities are confronted with an ongoing conflict and security threats related to it. When dealing with preparedness to natural disasters, it is important to take into consideration conflict dynamics too. Conflicts make disaster risk reduction (DRR) complicated and difficult, but in the same time, much more rewarding, if successful.

Right after returning from the Philippines, I will be preparing to the trip to Pyongyang in DPR of Korea. It will be my second time in the country, and this time in the winter. Again, when in the country, we will be trying to work out how we can support the communities in their preparedness to disasters in the context the country. When in DPRK, I am hoping to travel out of the capital city as well. I am not likely to be very connected to the web, when I am there, so I will have a break from updating this page for sometime. When I am online again, I shall surely report on the trips and adventures!

In my last post, I told you that I would be moving to Panama in the middle of the year. As time passes by, I get really excited by it. Started doing my readings about the countries of the region (including Panama itself), and got my Spanish books out, so that I can start refreshing my language. Very exciting indeed. Before Panama becomes a reality, I hope that I will still have lots of adventures in Asia. I am holding my breath then!