Well, here is the last post that I will make on this site (at least until maybe I go back which does not look like it will be soon).
One thing that I have learned while there is that relationships are very important. Having been there much longer than me, I asked a “friend” or two how they handled the changing teams and the coming and going of “friends”. They said that they just did not get close to anyone.
What a bummer. I learned that closeness is a very important part of a relationship or why bother being friends? Yes, “goodbyes” are very hard but what happens when you say “hello” again? If the relationship is not close, you have to start all over again. If it is close, you can pick up where you left off and have a more fulfilling conversation of shared experiences.
There is a saying that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and this is true in all relationships and relationship help both parties grow and mature and have experiences that they would never have otherwise.
I see relationship problems in our western culture which were manifested in the work in Pakistan. We are so goal oriented that we forget that the relationships are so much more important and we stomp all over people’s feelings and way of life just to get some minor job done. While so much more could be accomplished just by spending time to build a relationship.
There were many friendships that I was able to build but many I really wish I had more time to spend on. Actually, all of them I wish for more time. However, when I see these people again, it will even be more exciting to say “hello” and catch up on what has and is happening in their lives and time will be spent building even better friendships. I feel sorry for those that are afraid to get close to people because they do not want the “pain” of saying “goodbye”.
Well, relationship are very important part of life and I believe these are key to a fulfilled life. Now to go out and work on it.
And finally, I will have to say “goodbye” to all of you that have been reading this blog. Thank you for your interest and I hope that this site has been insightful, fun, and even a blessing.
Here is a great link to a photo site of Phil who came to take my place in Pakistan. Great pictures here and you can see the snow coming in. Click here.
Pakistani food is really good so I thought to give you a few notes on some of the food. (this post is dedicated to CM). In Balakot we had a cook that would fix Pakistani food. Here is the menu:
One of my favorites is Daal Masoor. As near as I can figure, this means “Split Red Lentil” (sorry CM, I miss translated it last night). Continue reading Food
It has been four days since I last wrote and I have some really good excuses. But this one is best. Some time on Sunday afternoon, somebody needed some wire so guess what, they reallocated the phone cable that supplied us with a phone and DSL. No, this was not in Muzaffarabad or in Balakot where I have been working with the internet cafe and relief work. This was in the city of Islamabad and in just under 3 days we got the connection back so now I can report to you what has been happening. Boy, we have more reliable service in the devistated quake areas 🙂
Saturday morning I flew out of Muzaffarabad by helicopter for my mid term break (which got pushed back by a couple of weeks) and then my return home.
It was good to be able to have a nice long hot shower, use decent ceramic bathroom fixtures, sleep in a bed off of the floor.
Sunday, I awoke to rain and quickly found out that there was rain in Muzaffarabad and probably snow in Balakot. This basically closed the air service into the mountains for the day. What is amazing is that this is only the second day since this disaster that air service had to be stopped! It is nice to be in Islamabad but I really feel for all of the workers and the Pakistani and Kashmiri people that are living in the mountains. One of the NGOs in Muzaffarabad woke up to 2 inches of water in their tent so spent the whole day building more platforms and trenches to keep dry!
The past few days I have been doing some shopping, having a debriefings, reading and just trying to relax. Tomorrow morning I will be up early (four hours from now) to take a nice warm shower, throw my PJs into a suitcase, tape them up, and get some coffee and banana bread and head to the airport.
This is not the last note on Pakistan. There will be at least two if not more on a few more thoughts but I better say goodnight for now (it is 11:55pm here).