It's off to Pakistan for me...
I don't feel so nervous this time going off on a mission. Normally, I do. I get massive anxiety around it and this time, I feel very calm. Almost to the point of denial. Ha ha.
I know the team I will be working with and that helps immensely. It's the unknown that bothers me, I think. I know the team and the first time going out in an emergency, I know the language. That is a huge comfort.
My South Asian heritage is going to be both an advantage and a disadvantage. I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out. It could go either way and once again, I have to have that balancing act in place. Things are easier for me, yes, but they also become much harder. The standards set for me are different as are the expectations.
Interestingly enough, for a mission that I feel comfortable with, I think everyone around me is a little freaked out. Everyone except for Micky. He might be but he doesn't say he is. He's seen me in the field. Like, really, in the field. My dad sent me a message saying I need to be careful out there. This is a man whose wife has been going to Iraq almost every year since the war. His other daughter goes to Pakistan regularly. I haven't been in 8 years. And even then, it was for two weeks. The time I went before, it was for three weeks, 10 years ago. Both times for weddings. My about-to-be boss, someone I have worked with before, just admonished me to dress conservatively. Or else he would take me to the shops. I laughed. I push boundaries, yes, but I'm not stupid.
I'm good at what I do and at sensing situations and what I can get away with. This time, I'm not looking to get away with anything. I just want to go out and do my job and be proud of the work I have done. I hope it's helpful and of some use to the people that need the help. And there are lots of people that need the help.
I do wonder how this will all play out. Am I walking blind into a situation when for the first time, I don't feel like I am?