Life in the Field - The Way of the Samurai

"Show me the way to the next whiskey bar. Oh don't ask why. Oh don't ask why."

Monday, January 02, 2006

Diving back to Afghanistan

Last time I left Afghanistan and returned, it reminded me of my first experience diving. Where everybody else starts in a shallow well-heated pool, preferably in the Caribbean or so it seems, the very first time I was offered to dive was somewhere in a grey ice-cold sea where the waters were about 40m deep. The friend who was treating me to this birthday present had taught me the basics in the open air but that didn't change anything to the fact that putting my head under the water AND breathing seemed like an utterly unnatural thing to do. I did it though and tried to keep breathing as calmly as possible, but if I've ever felt a panique attack nearing upon me, it was then. I mean I could somehow stay calm, but I knew if I went any further than 2 or 3 meters and got into troubles, I'd freak out properly.

Where that experience resembles returning to Afghanistan, is as far as putting my head under the water for the first time goes. I mean I don't think the country as such would drive anyone crazy too fast, but the organisation I work for, also known as the Group, combined with the location, certainly has potential for making very sane people loose it eventually. If not, the lack of privacy, of opportunity to do anything beyond watching DVDs, the difficulties inherent to walking around and the fantastic people you've met that leave before you do would.

Last time, on the plane back, I had to tell myself, all it would take was some deep breaths and eventually I'd find myself glad to return. This time though, I'm not so sure. And you see the challenge is there is an alternative path I'm considering but I am forced to wait some four months before having any clue whether it'll work out. And I don' know whether I'll be able to take deep breaths for four months. I don't even know wheter the Tai Chi CDrom I'm bringing back and the weekly yoga lessons will do. I know it's all going to last only a short, very short while. I mean four months is nothing in a human life. So I think I'm just going to take off, land and than breathe really deeply. Breathe and keep track of the countdown. Inshallah, soon, I'll be wandering in new territories. New for me anyway.

Until then, two days to go and there's a lot of friends seeing, dinner going, shopping and wandering I ought to do. So, so long until I'm back in deeper waters.


At 1:40 AM, Blogger exMI said...

Good luck. I'd like to go back. (although I'd rather have a different job this time....)

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I am waiting here for you at the bottom of the ocean. Glug, glug. It's fawking freezing, though, so mettre le long pull, as they told me when I first went out to Tajikistan.


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