Kacper decided against taking his strong painkillers this time. ‘It is not yet that bad…’ he thought. ‘I can still manage a bit more’ he tried to convince himself. Last two weeks were difficult. His body keeps on aching, and Kacper runs out of ideas of what he should be doing to manage his physical suffering. He hates going through these moments. Physical pains, when present for long time, wear his morale off. On one side, he is simply worried about his general well being, and he is simply scared of his own future, or more specifically, about progress of his disease, and then he also feels guilty. He feels guilty about needing to take some extra time off to rest. It annoys him, especially here, where things are very busy… So much work needs to be done, and he – Kacper, instead of spending time towards meeting challenges of their humanitarian work, he slows down, and takes extra time to rest – so he prevents total exhaustion of his body. ‘I am flown here from across the world to provide humanitarian assistance to the others, and here we go: I seem to need humanitarian assistance myself…’ – the realisation of this simple truth makes his conscious suffer.
Although, the thoughts of his own physical limitations make him very uncomfortable, he is not brave enough to take steps and change his career path. He realises that there are many professional options that are less physically demanding and he could consider doing. Trouble is that he can’t see himself doing anything else (or hardly anything) but being involved in humanitarian work. He enjoys so many aspects of his present life and work so much that he can’t possibly imagine finding any work that would make him feel as fulfilled and happy, as he is now. These contradictions of his life make Kacper feel that he is about to running into some kind of personal catastrophe… He might be able to carry on doing what he is doing now for some more years, but sooner or later he will abruptly be confronted with a dead end street, with no choice but quitting his present lifestyle. Obviously, he would prefer not to be left without choices, and knows that he should start doing something about his future already now… but somehow, at the moment, he is not up to the job – he is too tired. All what he can think of now is that he is a failure, unable to manage himself. At least, his more reasonable part pushed him to arrange for his overdue holiday. He has just booked his air ticket to go to Hong Kong, where he is planning to relax and rest for 10 days at the end of August…
He really wishes that his Hong Kong trip brings some peace of mind, and perhaps makes him more prepared to take some of scary decisions that he needs to take… He will surely sleep a lot, and will indulge himself with his favourite activity, which is getting lost in a big, unknown city, where one can just wander, stop and observe people’s daily lives… He hopes that both Hong Kong and Macau – which he also is planning visiting – will offer many such opportunities.
‘It is time to stop feeling self-pity for today’ – decided Kacper. ‘Now that I am going to Hong Kong, and I will have a chance to rest there… all what I have to do is getting as much work done as possible, before I travel’ he wanted to appear practical, and started listing things, he needs to get involved with in next two weeks:
- Finish reading 3 units of his SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London), and start preparing for examinations in October
- Prepare for signing contracts for project delivery with local partners in Swat, Buner DIK and Tank districts
- Finalise contract signing for funding with ECHO (European Commission’s Humanitarian Office), Canadian Government, and other donors
- Recruit all new livelihoods and water sanitation personnel for new project areas
- Finalise preparing financial analysis for expenditures of implemented projects
- Preparing for visit of the International Director from the headquarters
- Arranging for a field visit in Buner, and checking the progress of activities…
He looked at his list, and felt better. His tasks will surely keep him very busy, and within no time, he will be packing for his exotic trip – where he will be able to rest and sort himself out. ‘No need to feel miserable – just need to push myself a bit more, and soon, I will be resting and getting better again’ he thought more optimistically.
Kacper sat in front of his SOAS book, and started going through his second unit of the human resources management course – there was no time to waste after all…
PS. Kacper is moved by reading stories of ‘Warsaw Uprising’ veterans that he found on the Internet.