Monday, June 24, 2024

From Moldova to the world

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Diplomat Magazine
Diplomat Magazinehttp://www.diplomatmagazine.eu
DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

By Alexandra Paucescu

I never met her in real life but I feel like I’ve known her for ages. Our online conversations were always nice and funny; her posts on social media are carefully thought out, delicate and sensitive, just like her. She does not want to disturb, she is attentive to words and image… she knows that in the 21st century communication is important, but in a certain way. First lesson of diplomatic conduct was well learnt.

Mariana Bakici was born in the Republic of Moldova, a small country in Europe, where she spent her childhood and which beautiful shaped her character. A Business Administration graduate, with specialization in Tourism and Hospitality, she worked as an English translator for different projects.

‘Mostly, my career has been shaped during the years I’ve worked for the International Department at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Moldova. Those were years filled with lots of unforgettable experiences, different projects and the remarkable people I met, people that believed in me and helped enhance my professional and also personal abilities.’

But, as in all the diplomatic stories that I discovered over the past few years, life had other plans for her. Once she met her husband, a Turkish diplomat, she embarked on a journey around the world, which has taken her so far from Moldova to Türkiye, Brunei and very soon to their new diplomatic posting, in Lithuania.

When asked about where HOME is to her, she tells me: ‘living a nomadic life makes you think for a while. Home is where my family is. Today it can be in one corner of the world, tomorrow in another. There is this nice saying, which comes now to my mind “A house is made of walls and beams; A home is made of love and dreams”. Our home is where love and our dreams are.’

Indeed, I remember I was given the same advice years ago, before starting my own diplomatic journey.

Our family is our ‘HOME’ and we take it with us, no matter where we go.

Of course, everyone knows the tolls that this kind of life has on our families and especially our children. She also mentioned that, but with the same delicacy and sensitivity that I feel in any of our interactions. ‘Although many believe that children adapt everywhere easier than adults, I would say the opposite. Children have to change schools, leave their much loved friends behind and must start all from the beginning. That is why I think, for someone living a nomadic life, like me, the successful adaptation of the child to a new environment marks one of the proudest and most important moments.’

We all dread the first days in a new country, we wonder how easy and quick we will adapt, how long it will take, but we are much calmer and at peace when we feel that our children have succeeded and feel good about their new ‘country.’

‘Diplomatic life is a world of complexity and diversity. It offers chances to meet new cultures, new people, to learn about their identity and aspirations and thus widen your own horizon of knowledge. I would say that the constantly changing nature of diplomatic life is a benefit and challenge in the same time. It is a great exercise which eventually strengthens your resistance to change. We are expected to follow the ethical standards and codes of conduct set by the diplomatic customs.’

Mariana and one of her cakes

Diplomatic life is complex and often you need years to figure out its steps. She delicately also points out that:

‘sometimes we are seen just as the spouses, being omitted that we all have our own personalities, experience and education, skills and specific qualifications’.

Accepting the extra working hours, the boundaries between professional and personal life are also common challenges for diplomats.

Usually, people look just from one angle and think that we live as tourists and tossing glasses at diplomatic receptions. It is a big privilege to see different corners of the world but this comes together with many challenges, not easy ones. Diplomatic missions can be all over the world, including front lines of different conflicts. I also think that, in most cases, being a diplomat is a job for two, as the spouse is the biggest help for the diplomat, sharing the same stressful life. By nature, diplomatic communities are closed groups and this leads up to more misconception. The best way to change that is to communicate insightful and informative pieces about our lives, to as many readers as possible.’

In recent years I also admired and observed her hobbies, born from passion but carried forward with skill and perseverance. She says that ‘hobbies are not just activities to relax; they are a must when living abroad. When everything is new around you, your own hobbies make you feel home and safe.’

Mariana exploring on the bike

Accepting the extra working hours, the boundaries between professional and personal life are also common challenges for diplomats.

She likes spending time in nature, practices yoga. ‘While living a nomadic life, one has to reinvent and find the personal ”ikigai”. Being passionate about baking, I’ve started to deepen my knowledge about the pastry world. It just makes me and people around me happy. Another work- in-progress is writing. Both areas invite me to artistic creativity and increase the capacity for learning, which I believe should never stop.’

True. The human mind must always be active, but I would say that our way of life, always in motion and constantly in need of adaptation, keeps us that way. Diplomatic life is not easy for anyone, but it is important to keep the optimism, energy and, as Mariana beautifully says ‘be kind to the world!’



About the author:

Alexandra Paucescu

Alexandra Paucescu- Author of “Just a Diplomatic Spouse” Romanian, management graduate with a Master in business, cultural diplomacy and international relations studies.

She speaks Romanian, English, French, German and Italian,  gives lectures on intercultural communication and is an active NGO volunteer.

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