Saturday, July 07, 2012

Words for Loss

It was much more emotionally tremulous than I had anticipated to leave Lahore -- a post that was stressful and even (on occasion) frightening.  I didn't expect to feel so invested in the place; I didn't expect to care so much for -- and worry so much about -- the staff.  I still feel like I had more to learn and do there, a lot more.  But I couldn't have stayed, not at that pace of work.  Or maybe I just couldn't have stayed, period, and the pace of work is my justification.

Talking to family, friends, I want them to ask me about the experience... though precisely what the question ought to be, I couldn't tell you.  Without context they don't know where to start, and I don't know how to properly articulate things to them.  Coming into Dallas, the customs official flipped through my passport and eyed the Pakistani visa.  "So, Pakistan," he closed the travel document and handed it back to me.  "What was that like?"  I struggled for an adequate response.  "Good and bad," I finally told him.  I'm not sure that really captured it, though.


Heather said...

I know what you mean. Now that I've finished my tour in Nepal, people at home ask me what it was like. How do you answer that honestly in a 10 second sound bite response? I still haven't figured out a lengthy honest response that doesn't trivialize the experience.

Katie said...

I'm working on creating a sort of 'elevator interview' synopsis of it -- though by the time I have one figured out, I'll already have moved on to my next job.