Saturday, September 14, 2013

Update...Still Stuck in Islamabad

It is Day 36 of my Ordered Departure from Lahore.  Islamabad is definitely not Lahore!  I miss the people I work with, the culture, the massive traffic jams of tuk-tuks, cyclists, cars, buses, men on bicycles, animal drawn carts...yes, I miss it all.  And I miss my own bed.

I need to add another item to my previous post on what to grab if you're ever told to pack up to leave.  Just assume you might, just might not return.  Take important documents, expensive jewelry, the bulky laptop in addition to the iPad.  It's looking more and more like we might never return and my household could be packed up by strangers.  I left documents in my house that I would need immediately upon arrival back home in Texas.  If they were all packed up with everything else, I might not see them for months (the Pakistan government is holding our shipments for at least 90 days and then it's another 6 weeks on a ship).  So, either scan everything on to a thumb drive, updating it as often as necessary or keep all documents in one place, like a binder with sheet protectors.  Make sure it's easy to grab and go .Depending on where you are assigned, you might be instructed to always have a "go bag."  Heed those instructions.  In fact, no matter where you are, you should have a go bag.  Even if you're living back in the States.  It's just good common sense to have important things in one place in case of a fire, earthquake or some other disaster.  Fortunately for me, I got a call last weekend from one of my co-workers (Pakistani) who was going to make the trip up here.  He asked me if there was anything I wanted.  I said yes!  The next morning, he called me from inside my house and I walked him through my entire house, collecting important things.  He kept asking me if I wanted more clothes.  I said no, Macy's has already taken care of that!  That night, the driver delivered 2 suitcases, fully packed with 'stuff.'  Hopefully, this will all blow over but if it doesn't, at least I'm sleeping easier knowing I have the things from my house.

On a brighter note, in 2 weeks, I'm off to my 3rd R&R and will visit good friends in Madrid, Spain.  Getting away from the threats of terrorists will be a good thing for my mental attitude.  And speaking of that, my attitude throughout this has been good.  Sure, I worry about my things, my time left in Pakistan (I am counting on the $$ I make serving here to buy a house) and my safety.  It can't go on past June.  Others had barely arrived in Lahore when we were off to Islamabad.  They have 1 or even 2 years left on their tour. 

Anyway, back to Madrid.  I have missed photography since I've been here.  I can't wait to get pictures of the sights of Spain.  The only photographs I've take here in Islamabad have been with my iPhone of (I am bad...) carpet #19, #20 and #21.  I have a good excuse...there isn't much to do besides shop here!  And these really weren't expensive!  I will definitely have the most beautiful floor coverings in Fort Worth!  I'll be going back in April to buy a house and you can be sure I'll be looking for one with hardwood floors. No carpet for me...I have gorgeous carpets!  I wonder if they sell carpets in Madrid.  Let's hope not.