Blog

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Blog on romanmajcher.eu 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. Enjoy the read!


An attack on Ukraine stuns Europe

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Last few days prove to be exciting in politics in eastern part of Europe. Sadly, there is an escalation of conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Yesterday’s attack of the Russian navy on Ukrainian ships complicates the relations between the two countries even further. Where is it going to stop? How much more will be tolerated? Things do not appear optimistic, and I worry that the latest is yet another step towards the major conflict between the two nations, and quite possible other countries. 

Then, there is some surprising developments in Poland too. The Government of Poland was heavily criticised by the Ambassador of the United States in Warsaw for their attempts to silence the free media in the country. What is however really interesting in this development is that the criticism comes from the US administration that is much admired and loved by the present ruling regime in Poland. The authorities in Warsaw are stunned… and not quite know what is worse… a fact that they got criticised in a first place, or a fact that the criticism comes from Trump’s nominated ambassador. Personally, I am really surprised, and perhaps even shocked to admit that I am actually grateful to the US Ambassador to defend the freedom of speech in Poland… Who would have guessed that I would admit something like that? Life is indeed full of complexities and paradoxes. 

As an update from Bangkok. I have just finished packing, as I am preparing for travelling to Indonesia again. I am off to Jakarta for three days tomorrow. It will be an interesting trip, as I will be on meetings with the Government of Indonesia, discussing the lessons learnt from the latest humanitarian response to the earthquake in Sulawesi.

European Union Film Festival 2018 is coming to Bangkok

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At the snd of November and a good part of December, we will be having a movie feast here in Bangkok, as we are about to start the European Union Film Festival 2018. Lots of good and exciting movies are going to be screened, with my favourite ones being Transit from Germany, Fanny and Alexander from Sweden, and Loving Vincent from Poland. I have not heard much about other entries, so I am hoping that there will be some good surprises there. Planning to see as many movies as possible. In case, you are in Bangkok, and fancy some movies, check the programme out, and come along!

As I get excited with movies, I am also preparing for a short trip to Jakarta in Indonesia. I will be travelling there next week, just for three days. It should be a rather interesting experience, as I will be meeting with some governmental officials to discuss the lessons learnt from the response to the humanitarian needs after the earthquakes in Lombok and Central Sulawesi.

November blues

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Perhaps I have done too much travelling within last couple of months, or perhaps it is November catching-up on me. Whatever the case, I am exhausted. 

Yesterday, I had lots of plans for Bangkok. I wanted to visit the China Town, do some shopping, and visit some friends. I ended-up sitting at home, unwilling to do anything that involved physical movement. So I slept, I wrote emails, and… I started writing, writing something that I felt I wanted to do. I am not sure what it is going to become. At the end of the day, it does not matter… what matters to me is that I need to write some of the stuff that is on my mind, even if no one would ever read it, or if no one would like it, or found it interesting. So I started this blog/book, which will I will work on; write and re-write, if needed; experiment; do things at my own pace; at the level that works for me. Things will be written for public consumption, but then, as I said: I have no ambitions that people would like to read it. Writing for the sake of writing, or for the sake of self-therapy! Should you wish to, you may access the work at this link

I miss having Tahir here in Bangkok. I miss his company, his jokes, his cooking… I know… this is silly. So many of us, including myself, have worked so hard for him to successfully leave Thailand. Life is full of contradictions. So yes, I miss him terribly, but very happy that he is away in safety!

I am likely to stay in Bangkok, without flying for some days. Not too long, but I am happy not to have to move. I will then travel to Jakarta for 2 days at the end of November, and then visit the Philippines in December, just before Christmas arrives. 

If all goes according to my plan, I will be visiting Mum in Nowy Sacz in February, and then will travel to visit Tahir in Toronto too. 

No energy for further updates now. I am off to sleep!

Why London?

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I did promise to tell you why I was travelling to London. Promise is a promise, so here comes the explanation. 

My placement in Bangkok with my organisation is coming to its end. Under our employment rules, we are not allowed to serve in one location for longer than four years, meaning that after this period of time, we will need to be transferred to a new location, under the scheme that we refer to as ‘Rotation’. Although, there are some good chances that I would be able to secure a new post with my organisation somewhere else in the world (this should happen in the middle of next year), there is always a risk that something will not go the way expected. 

In order to increase the chances of my job security, some weeks ago, I started applying for jobs in various organisations. One of the position that I applied for was a place in a UNDP’s roster for resident representatives (or in other words, a position of a country director). To my big surprise, I was short-listed for a post that and was given a chance to go through final stages of the recruitment process. So here I am, in London with some other candidates going through various exercises and tests that are meant to determine whether I could fit to the organisation. 

I am here with a number of wonderful people, all of them much more senior than I am - ambassadors, members of national parliaments, directors of UN agencies… Frankly, I do not stand a chance to get recruited, given the caliber of my colleagues, but thing being written, I feel really happy to have met them, and given an opportunity to go through the interviews and exercises. The experience, and interaction with recruitment managers (and other candidates) has be enriching, and definitely has challenged my comfort zones - and one always should appreciate opportunities, such as this one, to learn. 

So even, if I am unlikely to get an offer, I have enjoyed my stay in London tremendously! 

London is calling!

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In a rather unexpected manner, I am travelling to London for meetings today. I will be in the UK for 4 days. I have not been in the country for 8 years, and I am excited to visit one of my favourite cities, however short the visit is! 

Impressions from Lombok and Sulawesi of Indonesia

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It is Friday evening, and I am trying to chill in my Bangkok flat after an exhausting, and quite emotional trip to Indonesia. You may remember from my previous posts that I went there to visit the humanitarian programmes that my organisations supports in earthquake/tsunami struck areas of Sulawesi and Lombok. Both of the islands have been severely affected and many of the communities undergo extremely tough set-backs that will take years to deal with. 

The humanitarian response, despite heroic efforts of some organisations, is not adequate and is of bad quality. I have a strong feeling that the people are let down by their own government and organisations that are mandated to help victims of such calamities. My journey has brought me a very sad picture: both when it comes to destruction and human cost caused by the disaster, and when considering how poor the response to the needs of the people is. We should all need to answer some tough questions, what we are learning from these situations, and how we will be doing things better in the future…

I have take some new pictures in Sulawesi and Lombok. If you are interested to have a look, please click here to view the gallery

Finally, I am travelling to London on Monday, and will be in the United Kingdom for 4 days. I will report to you, what I will be doing there soon, so please tune in!


Visiting the disaster zone

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I am writing from Palu in Central Sulawezi in Indonesia. Visiting the town and surroundings to check on how it is recovering from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the island some weeks ago. 

It is very interesting to see the area that is rising itself from ashes. Here all my respect goes to communities themselves. It is the communities and regular citizens, who make things happen. Cleaning up, rebuilding, helping one another… all done by individuals without much help from institutions meant to be there for people. Amazing. 

And today, I am turning 46… It is a great gift to celebrate your birthday with people of Sulawezi - reinventing themselves so beautifully!

On the way to Portugal

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After a tiresome travel and hectic time in Brussels, I am off to Lisbon and then Obidos in Portugal. Mum and our friends are joining from Poland too! Needless to say that I am very happy and excited to see them in the country soon. I am so excited that I am even not too worried about the winds/hurricanes which are predicted for later on tonight and tomorrow. 

When in Brussels, we discussed with my managers my options for my future postings with my organisations. In the middle of 2019, I will need to move, as I will have served in SE Asia for 4 years by then (the maximum that is allowed in one post). While nothing is decided and perhaps things will turn out to be completely different, the posting in one of the South American country was discussed! I would be very keen to work in Americas, as it would be my first professional experience from that part of the world. Let’s see what future holds! I will certainly inform you, when things become clearer.

Warsaw, Brussels and Lisbon: three European capitals in October

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The mission in Indonesia is about to finish, and I am packing again. Tomorrow, I am off to Warsaw, where I am going to stay for some hours and talk to TokFM radio about my experience of the humanitarian response to the earthquake in Palu in Sulawesi of Indonesia. Right after that, I am travelling for meetings in Brussels and then later during the weekend off to Lisbon, where I am meeting my mother and my friends. Together, we will be exploring Portugal together. The mission to Indonesia made me very tired, and I am looking forward to the trip to Europe. 

Off to Indonesia

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The consequences of the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi island of Indonesia are grave. It appears that over 1.000 died and thousands are injured. I am off to Indonesia tomorrow to check how we can contribute to the ongoing relief operations. 

I will be reporting here soon!

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