Adam Isacson

Still trying to understand Latin America, my own country, and why so few consequences are intended. These views are not necessarily my employer’s.

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Returning soon from vacation

I’m just finishing my second week of vacation time. My daughter just turned 17, college is looming in a year, so we drove all over the eastern seaboard looking at schools. Seventeen of them, as you can see here from these photo albums.

We’re at the beach for a few days, and coming back to Washington over the weekend. I’ll resume normal posting soon.

Busy day today

I’m not sure why items tend to congregate around a single day, but August 5 is one of those days for me.

  • The New York Times just published my column (second one in three months!) about Colombia’s troubling surplus of retired soldiers, who are massively entering the international market for contractors and mercenaries.
  • I’m moderating a WOLA event about forced eradication of illicit crops in Latin America, with colleagues from Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico.
  • WOLA will be publishing a big analysis / explainer piece about the situation at the border.
  • We’re recording a podcast this afternoon about Cuba, which we’ll post shortly afterward.
  • I’m on a panel this evening hosted by Colombia’s El Espectador to talk about coca cultivation and drug policy.

I look forward to posting links to all of those.

The day ahead: June 15, 2021

I should be reachable much of the day. (How to contact me)

I’ve got no meetings on the schedule today—an artifact of being out last week and not scheduling anything. I’ve agreed to do a few interviews but with no fixed times, so I should be available as I dig through many past unanswered messages and do some planning for the next few months.

The day ahead: June 14, 2021

I’ll be unreachable until the latter part of the afternoon. (How to contact me)

I’m back from vacation and will be spending the day catching up. I also have three internal meetings that I know of, and a border coalition meeting, which will take up all morning and at least the first half of the afternoon. I should be reachable after that.

The day ahead: June 7, 2021

I’m off this week and won’t be responsive. (How to contact me)

I’m taking a week of vacation. I may spend a lot of it just doing maintenance: updating contacts, lists, websites, and procedures that have fallen way behind, during this year of 65-hour weeks brought on by the border situation and Colombia’s protests. While I may be at my desk a lot, “vacation” means I’m taking the prerogative of shutting down communications, barely updating my news database, and writing no border or Colombia updates this week. By design, I will be nearly impossible to contact. See you next week.

The day ahead: June 4, 2021

I’m doing a lot of writing, but mostly around today. I’m out all of next week. (How to contact me)

I rolled out of bed this morning and got to work on our weekly border update, forgetting to do this “day ahead” post. I’m done with that, it’ll be posted soon, and am otherwise mostly around.

This is my last day on the job until June 14: I’m taking next week off to rest up after 5 nonstop months, and to get organized for the next several months.

The day ahead: June 3, 2021

I’m mostly around, except for meetings mid-day and late afternoon. (How to contact me)

I’m finishing up a very overdue weekly Colombia update, which fell victim to there simply not being enough hours in the day during an insanely busy time. I also plan to write most of a weekly border update today. This should be easier as my schedule is opening up a bit: only two meetings on the calendar today, one about communications strategy and one to talk about Colombia with legislative staff.

I am taking next week off, so will be spending today and tomorrow tying down loose ends.

The day ahead: June 2, 2021

I’m hard to contact today. (How to contact me)

I’m writing like crazy this morning through mid-day. Then we’re recording a podcast about Peru, and then I’ve got a Colombia coalition meeting. Then I’m going to keep writing.

The day ahead: June 1, 2021

I’m around for much of the afternoon. (How to contact me)

Wow, last week was one of the busiest weeks in my career. This week is less intense, but there’s a lot to catch up on that I couldn’t get to—from many emails to a still-unfinished weekly Colombia update to a podcast to prepare for tomorrow. Today I’ve got an internal meeting for much of the morning, a meeting to talk about Brazil at 2, and I’m on a Friedrich Ebert Foundation panel about Colombia at 5pm Eastern. Otherwise I should be reachable as I write the update and try to reduce my e-mail inbox’s inexorable rate of growth.

The day ahead: May 31, 2021

I’m off today. (How to contact me)

Today is a holiday in the United States (Memorial Day), and since I had to work Saturday—speaking on two panels at the Latin American Studies Association congress—I’m taking off as much of this Monday as I can. In the afternoon I hope to catch up on news, and in the evening write up a weekly Colombia update. But I’ll have my communications apps off.

The day ahead: May 26, 2021

I’m on a deadline and difficult to reach today. (How to contact me)

I’m way behind on a couple of presentations that I have to give later this week, in part because there have been many, many calls and interviews about the situation in Colombia. Unfortunately today I need to put things in “do not disturb” mode for several hours, when not in already-scheduled meetings (internal meetings, interviews, a sit-down with visiting Colombians). I will be hard to reach.

The day ahead: May 25, 2021

I’m around much of the day, but writing on deadlines so not feeling chatty. (How to contact me)

I have a mid-day call with some European NGOs and a late afternoon meeting at the Colombian embassy. Otherwise I’m at home preparing for some of five panel talks or lectures I’m giving on Friday and Saturday. Doing that will require me to have e-mail and other communications turned off for large segments of the day.

The day ahead: May 24, 2021

This is a rough week, but I’m sort of reachable this afternoon. (How to contact me)

I produced a lot of “content” in the past few days and will post it, or links to it, here later today. This morning I’ve got a coalition meeting on civil-military relations and an internal staff meeting. In the afternoon I’ll be assembling one of a few talks I’m giving later in the week about civil-military relations in Latin America. I’ll be intermittently reachable, though will spend some time with e-mail and whatsapp turned off.

The day ahead: May 21, 2021

I’m pretty slammed today. (How to contact me)

I’m in the midst of writing two internal memos (one done, one to go), a weekly border update (drafted), a written interview with a Colombian paper (drafted), and an article for another Colombian publication (semi-drafted). And I’m recording a podcast about Brazil in the early afternoon. I won’t be able to come up for air much today, and will be hard to contact.

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