We will continue to assist the Canadians in distress. This practically means that all the other programmes are currently on hold.
We have interviewed the officials from diplomatic community to found out how embassies have organized their diplomatic activities during the state of emergency, as well as, how they spend their free time and what they will do first when the state of emergency is abolished. We talked to H. E. Kathleen Csaba, Ambassador of Canada: “Our basic task is to help the Canadians from Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia in distress“ she added.
How did you organise your diplomatic activities?
The Embassy of Canada is open and only offering essential services at this time. It means that we are focusing in helping Canadians in need. Over to past 10 days, we were able to help Canadian citizens from Serbia but also from the two other countries from acreditation, Montenegro and North Macedonia return to Canada. We will continue to assist the Canadians in distress. This practically means that all the other programmes are currently on hold. In order to keep our staff safe, we ordered our staff to work from home, as for the staff that are essential to our work, i.e. those who must appear in the offices, we organised the rotatin schedule. So we have one team doing one week, one team doing the other week. This way we are limiting contact among them, that they have with each other. But of course, we are staying in touch with each other with email and with the other electronic tools.
How are you spending your private time during the pandemic?
I must say I am not used having so much private time in my life at disposal in the evenings and at weekends. Normally, living this life there’s so many events, national days, the whole range of meetings, and performances. Usually in March and April I would usually attend, during many evenings, performaces during the Belgrade Dance Festival, for example. But of course all of these events had to be postponed. And since I am spending so much time at home, it means that I am able to do lots of things with my family, which is a lovely thing, we are having more conversations, we are playing games, cards, watching movies together. It means that I have more time to read books, which is nice. Since we had some sunny days, I have been spending some time outside on my terrace, working with my flower pot and trying to help my plants to survive through winter and to grow again this year.
What will you do first after the state of emergency is abolished?
There are many things that I am looking forward to doing when this crisis is finally over. First and foremost, seeing many friends in Belgrade in person. We are looking forward to going to restaurants, since we were not doing that for a while but also to having friends that visit us at home and just spending time together. I am looking forward to going to green markets, to buying fresh food and vegetables that are now in season, as well as buying flowers to plant in a pot in my terrace, going to some nice walks, in Belgrade, in the city centre, seeing this beautiful bustling city life again, going shopping, but also getting out to have some walks in nature, and of course, I am looking forward to do some more travelling around the country.