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Plans for first weeks of 2021

Argentinian flag, Buenos Aires, March 2020

We are into the second week of 2021. As we are still on the lockdown in Panama (as in many other parts of the world), things are a bit slow and unclear, when it comes to work and personal life plans. Movement restrictions make it more difficult to function in a way what I would consider 'normal'. This being written, I am still trying to get my head around what comes next in a nearer and further future. Some of the highlights include:

- Missions to Argentina, Chile and Honduras: I am well behind visiting our projects in Argentina, and long overdue a visit to Chile. In Argentina, I am in need of visiting the northern province of Salta, where we are trying to support indigenous communities in their struggle against drought, and now the consequences of COVID-19. Also, it is clear to us that the pandemic has created new humanitarian concerns both in Argentina and Chile. One of the examples (although not the only one), is a worsening situation of refugees and migrant workers in large urban centres. We hear that the collapsing economies of the two countries have a tremendous impact on migrants, as they struggle getting any income and have lost access to basic services, including accommodation, health and basic commodities such as food or safe potable water. The visit to the two countries would help us define our own strategies over how we could assist in alleviating some of these stresses, if at all possible.

The visit to Honduras, on the other hand,
would be a follow-up of the mission to my November, after hurricane assignment. I would need to get there to check on how our humanitarian projects are implemented and assess whether they make an expected difference.

- Visit to Portugal: I really need to travel to Portugal soon. I have not been to Obidos far too long, and not only that I miss it, but I have got tonnes of practical and administrative stuff that I should deal with. My permanent residence permit for Portugal being the most important and urgent.

- Arranging for a meeting with Tahir: Although I managed to meet Mum and my family in Poland relatively recently (
end of October 2020), I have have failed to meet Tahir for over a year. There is a ban on travelling to Canada, and so for now, going there is not an option. I do hope things become easier when it comes to crossing borders, and I will be able to see him soon, either in Canada, Europe (perhaps, he could travel to Portugal) or here in Panama!

I will keep you posted on how these (and other) plans work out. In the meanwhile, do send me updates on what is happening in your lives too!