• 05 September 2019

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    Expatriados FIIAPP: Araceli Vázquez

    "Los turcos son muy acogedores y cuando saben que soy española aún más"

    Araceli Vázquez y su equipo en Turquía

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    Araceli Vázquez, coordinadora del proyecto Twinning ‘sobre métodos avanzados en laboratorios forenses’ en Turquía, nos cuenta cómo ha sido su adaptación a este país y cómo está siendo su experiencia tanto personal como profesional.  

    ¿Cuánto tiempo llevas en Turquía? ¿Cómo ha sido tu adaptación al país? 

     

    Llevo 3 meses, me incorporé justo al empezar la Semana Santa, ya que al ser un país musulmán para ellos no era época vacacional. Mi adaptación al país ha sido muy buena, aunque el principio es siempre “incómodo” porque hay que lidiar con muchos trámites y Turquía tiene una burocracia compleja. 

     

    ¿Qué ha sido lo que más te ha costado y lo que menos? 

     

    Me ha costado el primer mes y medio estar sin mis hijos, que esperamos a que acabaran el curso en España para incorporarse conmigo a esta aventura. El pequeño tiene 2 años y medio y la verdad es que me costó separarme de él. Ahora que ya estamos todos aquí, ¡prueba superada!. También cuesta un poco adaptarse a vivir con una barrera idiomática, no mucha gente habla inglés y a veces es complicado entenderse, pero con voluntad y ganas se va superando. 

     

    En cambio, me ha costado poco hacerme con el país, los turcos son muy acogedores y cuando saben que soy española aún más. Les encanta el fútbol y nuestros equipos los conocen mejor que yo. También el grupo de españoles que están aquí, el personal de la embajada y otros RTAs hacen que enseguida nos sintamos integrados. La comida turca es excelente, lo que me hace estar un poco alerta porque en el Twinning anterior el RTA se volvió con 12 kilos de más a su país.  

     

    ¿Es tu primera experiencia fuera de España? Si no es así, ¿está siendo muy diferente a las anteriores? 

     

    Hace ya unos cuantos años estuve viviendo dos años en Los Ángeles, como estudiante postdoctoral en UCLA. Fue una etapa maravillosa y por esta razón tenía ganas de repetir la vida de expatriado. Son diferentes experiencias porque también se trata de dos momentos vitales muy distintos, en EEUU hacía vida de estudiante en cambio ahora tengo mucha más responsabilidad en el trabajo y también dos niños que hacen que no pueda bajar la guardia en ningún momento. 

     

    ¿Cómo es tu trabajo y tu día a día? ¿Es muy diferente a la rutina que llevabas en España? 

     

    En España trabajo de facultativa en el Instituto Nacional de Toxicología y Ciencias Forenses. Mi trabajo consiste en estudiar las muestras recogidas por médicos forenses y policía en el laboratorio y elaborar un informe pericial con el resultado. Sin embargo, aquí sobre todo tengo que gestionar el proyecto, negociar el plan de estudios, contactar con los expertos y proporcionar apoyo en las formaciones que se llevan a cabo con expertos desplazados. Es una rutina completamente diferente pero igualmente interesante y enriquecedora.  

     

    Como en todos los trabajos hay días mejores que otros y a veces hay que lidiar con la frustración de que las cosas no salen como sería deseable, pero esto a su vez genera nuevos retos y lo hace también motivante 

     

    ¿Cómo es tu relación con el equipoFIIAPP en Madrid? ¿Y con tus compañeros en Turquía? 

     

    El equipo de FIIAPP en Madrid es mi salvavidas. Al no tener experiencia previa en este tipo de proyectos es fundamental contar con el apoyo de personas que conocen bien el funcionamiento de las distintas administraciones implicadas. Mi relación con la técnico del proyecto de FIIAPP es prácticamente diaria, continuamente nos enviamos mails, papeles y hablamos por teléfono. Es un trabajo en equipo, aunque sea en la distancia.  

     

    En Turquía tengo dos compañeras que me ayudan con las traducciones y la gestión. Además, el RTA contraparte y Project Leader son militares funcionarios de la administración turca y es un verdadero placer trabajar con ellos. Son muy disciplinados y trabajan con mucho empeño y ganas para que el proyecto sea un éxito. 

     

    ¿Cómo valoras tu experiencia de trabajar como expatriada de la FIIAPP? 

     

    Es una gran oportunidad poder participar en este proyecto. Tanto profesional como personalmente me está aportando mucho. Los laboratorios forenses tienen muchas ramas diferentes y el proyecto abarca muchos otros campos que se complementan entre sí, lo que lo hace muy interesante porque vienen expertos de todas las especialidades. Desde el punto de vista personal, es una experiencia muy enriquecedora como mujer, civil y culturalmente cristiana Era todo un reto venir a trabajar a una base militar turca. Sin embargo, no puedo más que estar agradecida por esta oportunidad que está siendo muy positiva. 

     

    ¿Alguna experiencia o anécdota que resaltar de tu adaptación al país? 

     

    Cuando llegué a Turquía a los pocos días empezó el Ramadán. En medio de una noche me desperté con un ruido escandaloso de alguien tocando el tambor por la calle con el ánimo claro de despertar a todo el vecindario. La noche siguiente, otra vez aquel escándalo en medio de la noche y pensé en llamar a la policía. Por la mañana lo comenté en el trabajo y me explicaron que es una tradición propia del Ramadán. Una persona se pasea con un tambor despertando a la gente para avisarla de que coma y beba antes de que se ponga el sol, que comienza de nuevo el ayuno. Menos mal que no llamé a la policía y pregunté antes. 

  • 16 August 2019

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    FIIAPP Expatriates: Severino Falcón

    "Talks with other experts and learning about the point of view of the other side of the Mediterranean is a very enriching experience"

    Severino Falcón durante su intervención en el evento de lanzamiento del proyecto

    Severino Falcón, coordinator of the “Improvement of the Tunisian research and innovation system” project and chief technical adviser of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities tells us about his experience during his initial months in Tunisia: his first mission and his first experience living abroad.

     

    How long have you been in Tunisia? 

    Six months.

     

    How have you adapted to this country?

    To answer this question, I must stress that it is my first mission. So, in the beginning, I went carefully, but as the days have gone by, adapting has been easy, smooth and comfortable. A critical point was having an apartment to live in. Once you have accommodation, if you are happy living there, it makes it easier to adapt. In the case of Tunisia, having a small Spanish community to rely on was very helpful. 

     

    What has been the most difficult aspect to adapt to, and the easiest?

    First of all, my family. But with new technologies and transport, the distance is not such an issue.

    Another difficult issue is speaking Tunisian and … running. Outside the capital, there are plenty of nice places to run. But the city of Tunis is not very attractive for running. 

    The people here are the easiest aspect. They are very friendly.

     

    Is this your first experience outside of Spain? 

    Yes. It is my first experience. 

     

    What is your work like, your daily routine? Is it very different from the routine you had in Spain?

    We are doing a project with defined activities. This makes it easier to know what to do. It’s new to me, and during the last six months, my daily routine has been focused on helping to get the project up and running. For this, the experience and advice of Raphael, project manager, and each supervisor, team member and an expert who participated, have been very important. 

    In the past I was on the other side of the project, that is to say, convening and tracking projects of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and the State Agency for Investigation.

     

    What is your relationship like with the FIIAPP team in Madrid? 

    Basically, my relationship with the FIIAPP is through Yessica, the technician who manages the project, who I talk to and send emails to every day. I work with her to find ways to include the activities proposed into the project’s framework. It isn’t easy, since ideas often come up that are not feasible (such as changing the direction of a mission). Nancy joined us recently, and she is helping with mission logistics and travel for the experts. In short, the relationship, at least on my part, is very good… Now you will have to ask Yessica and Nancy.

     

    And with your colleagues in Tunisia?

    I have a great relationship with the work team. 

    I speak to my counterpart every day and we get on well. With the project leader of the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique (MESRS) too, though, although she is close by, since she has been appointed director general of research we have to organise meetings well in advance.

     

    How would you assess your experience of working as a FIIAPP expatriate?

    In view of my previous answers, I only have one answer to that question. Very good.

     

    Do you have any experiences or anecdotes about your arrival in or adaptation to the country?

    Every week and even every day is different. From the time you spend alone to the times when you can’t keep up with your work and social engagements. 

    For the time being, having conversations with other experts and learning about the point of view of the other side of the Mediterranean is a very enriching experience. 

     

  • 31 July 2019

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    “Cooperation is building dialogue”

    Francisco Sancho, coordinator of the AECID in Bolivia, talks to us about the spanish cooperation and the project “European support for Bolivia’s special forces for fighting drugs”

    Francisco Sancho, AECID coordinator in Bolivia

    What role does Spanish cooperation play in Bolivia?

    Cooperation in general, and especially in Bolivia, before defining any work, is building dialogue.

    Dialogue with the Bolivian institutions, with the Bolivian government, at both central and regional levels, with the municipalities and with local authorities. We must also conduct a dialogue with civil society and, based on this dialogue and all the information we receive, carry out an analysis and determine which specific actions and lines of work are most complementary for the Bolivian government and where we see our comparative advantages lying.

     

    What are the priorities of Spanish cooperation in Bolivia?

    Our priorities have been adjusted over the years as the country has grown and expanded, but we can set out four main priorities.

    First, governability. For us, governability is the democratic core of a country, and above all it is the improvement of government’s administrative and management capabilities. In planning processes, as we do with the Bolivian Ministry of Planning. And also in gender equality issues as we do with the Ministry of Justice, through the Vice Ministry of Equality, paying very special attention to the issue of violence against women.

    Financial aspects are also important, because there is a lot of infrastructure that requires very intense work as regards water, sanitation, and so on.

    Thirdly, we have the area that can be grouped together and referred to as social cohesion, including health and education, the emphasis currently being on health, whereas previously it tended to be on education.

    Bolivia being an intermediate income country, we are still working on primary care, but we have been moving more and more into covering Bolivia’s need for training of specialist doctors for the second level of medical care. And also, towards having at least five basic specialities catered to in hospitals so that patients referred from the first level of primary care can be treated at the second level.

    Another very important area for us is that of heritage, culture and development, but always from the perspective of development and above all improvement of living conditions. The objective is to build on the interplay among Bolivia’s heritage, the conservation of that heritage and the country’s historical memory to develop a strategy, jointly, at national and regional level, aimed at promoting tourism and improving its citizens’ living conditions and incomes.

    These are the four most important areas. Apart from this, we also do a considerable amount of work with NGOs, always within these four axes, everything being agreed in advance. The aim is to focus on these four areas and to work together on them, joining forces with the NGOs and the country.

     

    And the priorities of Bolivia, regarding cooperation?

    Bolivia’s priorities are exactly the same. We work with an analysis, with the country’s planning documents, and based on this dialogue, which we build at the social and institutional levels, we make a proposal for shared action based on our comparative advantages.

    Based on these advantages, we have established the four work axes which I mentioned earlier: governance with special attention to the violence of women and planning management; health, especially as regards medical specialisation; issues relating to water and sanitation, where much progress has been made and where the Spanish water and sanitation fund’s programme, together with the government of Bolivia, has made a very significant effort. and finally, the area of heritage, culture and development.

    How important is inter-institutional coordination between the AECID  and the FIIAPP?

    It’s essential. To achieve cooperation, inter-institutional relations are indispensable. No work can be done, especially in the area of cooperation, if there are not good inter-institutional relations.

    The project “ European support for Bolivia’s special forces for fighting drugs ” is financed jointly by the European Union and Spain’s AECID and now we also have a budget from the FIIAPP.

    Right from the start, both in the preparation of the first planning documents and later in the following steps, there have been very close relations between the AECID and the FIIAPP. They have always sent us regular information, which we appreciate, because it allows us to have clear knowledge of the progress and to detect the difficulties and make suggestions – only suggestions, because ultimate responsibility of course lies with the FIIAPP as implementer.

    As part of this joint inter-institutional work, we also have to devise and put forward suggestions for resolving the problems that arise in the normal course of a project. I believe that this inter-institutional relationship is very important.

     

    How has the joint work between the two institutions been for the development of the project to support the fight against drugs and human trafficking?

    The fact is that, as I mentioned earlier, it’s a task that’s been carried out jointly from the very beginning, from conception. I should also mention that the European Union delegation has done a very good job of coordination in this respect.

    We’ve worked on each of the points, paying special attention to detail. In all the meetings we’ve had, we’ve paid specific attention not just to how the project is evolving and to monitoring, but also to analysing problems and above all to joint proposals, in a consensual way.

    I think this is the key word, consensus, finding one as regards the work dynamics and above all in problem solving.

     

    What do you think are the main things achieved in the project thanks to this close collaboration?

    The main thrust of this programme, which involves some very complex issues, is really the fight against drug trafficking and all related crimes.

    The initial panorama was one of many national institutions, each with its own powers and its own roadmap and very little contact among them. This has been greatly improved. The programme of the FIIAPP, the European Union and ourselves has been the search for coordination and more pooling of resources among the institutions that work on this problem in the country. I believe that really important advances have been achieved.

    Another achievement that can be highlighted is the training of human resources. This training is essential, not just because there have been many courses with specialists coming from Spain and other countries such as France to deliver this training, but because “train the trainers” sessions have been proposed so that this “installed capacity” can continue to produce without the presence necessarily of external support.

    And, above all, the need, as we have commented many times with the FIIAPP, for this training to be formally set out in writing. And for job descriptions to include this need for training, because in many cases it provides some assurance as to the suitability of the person who is going to do the job. Thus, with the institutional and personal changes that are usual in any institution, the person occupying the position would be offered the possibility of training or, training already received would be taken into account.

    And finally, when we speak of related crimes, especially for Spanish cooperation, the related crime that we wish to address most particularly is people trafficking. Especially, the trafficking of women, related in many cases with exploitation of sexual services, almost slavery, and also the trafficking of young people.

    This line seems to us very important and sensitive because it has a very large incidence in the country. In this regard, the FIIAPP has been working on the preparation of a series of planning documents, at regional level and at the key level of the departments (provinces). It is a work that we complement, with our bilateral effort, together with the Bolivian Ministry of Justice and of course the NGOs.

    All aspects of the programme are important, but for Spanish cooperation this line of work of related crimes, specifically people trafficking, is the one on which we have collaborated most insistently, given that it is a line of work that we also have in the country.

     

    Would you highlight other examples of joint work between the AECID and the FIIAPP?

    The relations between the FIIAPP and the Spanish-AECID cooperation are very close. We are sister organisations, we work together and obviously we do so in other countries too.

    We also collaborate on regional programmes such as EUROsociAL+ where we have also been sharing experiences regarding people trafficking.

    Here, the work of the FIIAPP and the AECID has been a permanent job for many years and in which we have many connections and relationships.

  • 20 June 2019

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    “The main problem is drug transit and the economic activity it entails”

    The French Ambassador to Bolivia, Denis Gaillard, talks about the country and the project to fight drug trafficking and related crimes in Bolivia

    Denis Gaillard, the French Ambassador to Bolivia

    The project, managed by FIIAPP and financed by the European Union, AECID and FIIAPP, includes the participation of Spanish and French specialists from the Civil Guard, the National Police, judges, prosecutors and institutions managed by CIVIPOL, such as the Gendarmerie.

     

    What is the strategic importance of Bolivia to France and the European Union?

    All of Latin America is important for France because there is a strong cultural and intellectual relationship between us, and we are all Latin countries, so we have much in common. In Latin America as a whole, Bolivia has a very specific role because it is a country where France has a major presence.

    There is a close relationship between the two countries, and we are very happy to be able to help this country which is in a very difficult economic and social situation, being the poorest country in Latin America.

    So, it is a country with problems, but it is trying to face them. We are happy to help them.

     

    What would you highlight about French and European cooperation in Bolivia?

    It is very important that European cooperation takes into account what each country does. There is very good cooperation and close coordination among the European Union and the actions of Member States.

     

    What is special about Bolivia?

    In relation to the economy, it is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, but it also has the highest growth, so there is hope that things will change. Last year there was a lot of progress in education, health and infrastructure, where there were many very positive changes. It is never enough, but there were some major developments.

     

    Regarding politics, general elections for the presidency and parliament are scheduled for October; this will be an important moment for dialogue and democratic participation. So we are anxiously waiting for that moment.

     

    Do you think that Bolivia is a unique country in Latin America?

    That’s right. Bolivia and Paraguay are the only countries that are landlocked. They have no access to the sea, and this puts them in a peculiar situation.

     

    And it is also pluri-national – it comprises several communities, mostly of indigenous people – making it very special. In addition, its policies are adapted to this situation and taken into account, which is very positive and important.

     

    What do you think the project contributes to the country?

    Drug trafficking is important for the entire region, not just this country. So it is vital for the country to address this problem very seriously and with a lot of dedication. We are pleased to be able to participate and be partners in a project to fight drug trafficking and related crimes in Bolivia. This project enables us to fight drug trafficking effectively, by applying joint strategies drawing on many services from the Bolivian institutions that are also involved in the project. It is also important to have a communication network for these services. I believe that this project has helped to promote dialogue and collaboration, to ensure that they work together effectively.

     

    What is the strategic importance of Bolivia to France and the European Union?

    All of Latin America is important for France because there is a strong cultural and intellectual relationship between us, and we are all Latin countries, so we have much in common. In Latin America as a whole Bolivia has a very specific role because it is a country where France has a major presence.

     

    There is a close relationship between the two countries, and we are very happy to be able to help this country which is in a very difficult economic and social situation, being the poorest country in Latin America. It was the poorest country in Latin America, so it is a country that has problems, but it is trying to face them. We are happy to help them.

     

    What importance do you think French and European cooperation have in Bolivia?

    It is very important that European cooperation takes into account what each country does. There is very good cooperation and close coordination among the European Union and the actions of Member States.

     

    What do you think of the efforts being made by Bolivian institutions to reduce drug trafficking and related crimes?

    I think there is real dedication. Bolivia is in a somewhat unusual situation due to the traditional use of coca. But, taking this issue into account, the country is strongly committed to fighting against drug trafficking, which is a tragedy for people doomed to rely on this as their only means of survival. So there is a real effort, but it is never enough. The borders are difficult to control and the traffickers are quick to react – when they cannot get through one way, they look for a different route.

     

    A constant and comprehensive strategy is essential. And that is why the European Union’s help is necessary, and what this project is about.

     

    What achievements would you highlight from the project?

    The dialogue is the most obvious result of the first phase, which will be completed this year, 2019. There has been a lot of collaboration, and not only among the Bolivian services responsible for fighting drug trafficking. Contacts have also been established with other countries in the region to share information. Drug trafficking is not just a domestic problem, it is also a regional problem for Latin America and an international problem for Europe and Spain, which is the port of entry for drugs into our continent.

     

    We are also very pleased that this programme is being related to other activities that already exist, such as everything that the United Nations is doing on alternative crops to drugs.

     

    Do you believe that a second phase of the project will be necessary?

    I think so, firstly because the first phase always starts a little slowly. You have get to know one another, understand how you all work, who is in charge of what … We have reached the end of the first phase and it would be a shame to leave things half finished. So it is very important that we have a second phase and that this second phase starts soon, so that there isn’t even a momentary breakdown. It is important that we keep the same dynamic; this means that we would be able to start immediately with a very effective group.

     

    How do you think the results will contribute to improving the quality of life for the public?

     

    We have to achieve a change in the lives of the people involved in the drugs trade. They have to have another way to work and survive. Bolivia is more a country of transit than of consumption, so this has a direct impact on the local population.

    There are other countries in the region – such as Chile or Argentina – where consumption is developing a lot, so those countries have a different problem of helping people who are involved in drug use.

    Here, the main problem is the drug transit and the economic activity surrounding it. We have to see see how we can change the economic situation and give the people other options.

  • 30 May 2019

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    “Our main value is to improve coordination between the Practitioners’ Network member agencies”

    We interviewed Jérémie Pellet, general director of cooperation agency Expertise France, FIIAPP's partner in numerous projects and a member of the Practitioners' Network

    Jérémie Pellet, director general de Expertise France

    What is Expertise France? What is its job?

     

    Expertise France is the French public international cooperation agency. It was created in 2015 by merging several operators together. It works in four major fields; in the field of democratic governance: economic and financial; in the field of peace, security and stability; in the field of human development: education, health, social protection; and in the field of sustainable development: climate, agriculture and energy.

     

    Why is the joint work of institutions like the FIIAPP and EF so important?

     

    Expertise France and the FIIAPP are institutions that share the same objective: to support public policies and support the development of the countries of the south with a good governance plan. So, we already work together on many projects. Nowadays, Expertise France and the FIIAPP share a dozen projects. We strive to be an allied actor in Europe. So, we seek to collaborate with agencies like us, capable of mobilising expertise in different countries, particularly public expertise, our main reason for being, both of the FIIAPP, in Spain and Expertise France, in France.

     

     What are the advantages and drawbacks of working together?

     

    To start with, the advantages of working together are that our approach is not only national but also European, with different ways of working and, obviously, this is extremely advantageous, since we require European funding, and theEuropean Commission is very interested in international development agencies working together.

     

    The drawbacks are, essentially, coordination difficulties because everyone has their way of working and procedures. One thing we can certainly do to improve is to work on this issue to make coordination more fluid and effective. 

     

    How do you think France contributes to these projects? And Spain?

     

    Both France and Spain have numerous cooperation projects, which account for an important part of their international activity and their diplomatic activity in matters of international cooperation. They have worldwide geographies whose priorities are not necessarily the same due to historical differences. Spanish international cooperation focuses mainly on Latin American policies, whereas French international cooperation is more involved in helping the poorest African countries mainly in West Africa. However, this does not alter the fact that we now face global climate, security and development issues that need support in different parts of the world. Ultimately, we complement each other because we each contribute what we know best as well as our cooperation expertise.

     

    How valuable is the European cooperation network, the Practitioners’ Network, to European cooperation?

     

    Practitioners’ Network is a body that brings together European Union state agencies involved in delegated and cooperation fund management. It is now the recognised interlocutor for the European Commission. The proof is that we and the Commission have entered into a very important association agreement between the Commission and each Member State agency, to make these agencies the primary delegated management agents for the European funds. It is now an acknowledged body with real technical competence, which is obviously valuable for the agencies as well as for the European Commission, which has a partner to which it can address such issues.

     

    I believe that our main value and the work we have already undertaken and that which still needs to be accomplished is to further strengthen coordination between the agencies in the Practitioners’ Network. Because we will be effective, among ourselves, and will be capable of showing the European Commission that working with Member States’ agencies is an added value.

     

    In my opinion, the European Commission expects us to be able to show that we are really effective, which is why I believe that the network of the Practitioners’ Network should continue to develop good practices, standardising agencies and establishing new procedures.

  • 16 May 2019

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    FIIAPP Expatriates: Rafael Ríos

    Rafael Ríos, coordinator of A-TIPSOM: the fight against people trafficking and irregular migration in Nigeria, explains how he has been adapting to the country, what his daily routine is like, and what it is like to work as a FIIAPP expatriate.

    How long have you been in Nigeria? How have you adapted to this country?

     

    I arrived on 16 July 2018. When you arrive in a new country, as you can imagine, it is not always easy. I remember hearing about other projects, from other colleagues who had been in or were in other countries, who said “the beginning is always the hardest”. For me this has been a bit simpler, or less complicated, and I’ll tell you why. In this country we already had the embassy staff, and they helped us with everything from the outset, arriving in the country, accreditations, looking for accommodation, the office, etc. We spent almost four months in a small office that they kindly lent us until we were able to move. I wish you could count on this kind of support every time you started a project.

     

    What has been the most difficult aspect to adapt to, and the easiest?

     

    The hardest part was perhaps the second week. During the first week everything is frenetic, you have so many things on your plate… But the second week was like coming back down to Earth. That’s when I really started to realize where I was, and the step that I’d taken. Such a long project with so many important challenges. The easiest thing was perhaps meeting people, dealing with the Nigerians, who I think are happy people who enjoy their country and who, in general, welcome newcomers quite readily.

     

    Is this your first experience outside of Spain?

     

    No, it’s not. Belonging to the National Police gives you opportunities like this, discovering other countries and destinations, doing what you enjoy and what you know best. Previously I’d done different jobs in African countries, on short-term missions in Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, as well as in Europe, in Italy to be precise.

     

    In light of this, is this proving to be very different to your previous missions?

     

    The concept behind this mission is quite different. This one is long-term and involves a permanent deployment in another country plus working as an expert for FIIAPP .  It’s something else entirely, and it’s a big professional challenge for me, since what we are trying to achieve with this project is very alluring, and at the same time very ambitious .

     

    What is your work like, your daily routine?

     

    Honestly, I think it’s not that different. Here, because of the hot weather, you get up and start work quite early. We get to the office, have meetings, go out to the different places we need to visit as part of the project. Usually we have lunch at the office and return home in mid-afternoon.

     

    Is it very different from the routine you had in Spain?

     

    As I said, it is a job that requires a lot of contact with one’s counterparts,which means you are often out of the office, and I find that quite interesting.

     

    What is your relationship like with the FIIAPP team in Madrid?

     

    Great! I would say that, in addition to having a great professional relationship, we talk every day, we share ideas, etc. We have even created bonds that are enabling us to achieve better results in the project, of that I am sure.

     

    And with your colleagues in Nigeria?

     

    The same. Several months on, the team in the field has been growing, with Nigerian personnel, which helps us a lot to understand their way of working, what they’re like, their customs.

     

    How would you assess your experience of working as a FIIAPP expatriate?

     

    It is very positive so far. I think it is helping me to understand how an institution like FIIAPP copes with so many projects and with the scope of the work it does. The training, its structure and its values are enabling me to acquire knowledge. When you belong to an institution like the National Police, sometimes you focus so much on your professional life that you do not realize how work is done elsewhere, so the project is helping to train me both professionally and personally .

     

    Do you have any experiences or anecdotes about your arrival in or adaptation to the country?

     

    Well, I could tell you several, but I’ll just say that I like saying good morning and learning new words in a dialect called Hausa, and in the building where we work I usually see two young people who like to teach me words like that: good morning, let’s go, go ahead… and it makes them laugh when they hear me pronounce them… Inakwana, which means good morning, is part of the day-to-day.