Most of you have gotten the heads up about the trip I found out I was taking and the departure I am making just 5 very short days later, from the email I sent. My departure is tomorrow morning. One bag is packed and two still have contents that must go in. Peter will do a final ‘computer skill’ recheck with me today to see what I haven’t learned.
Not a single thing we have had to do has been particularly simple. I have spent more hours in front of my computer than I would normally ever consider. I have packets of papers and learning modules and forms. I have had injections and medication for multiple serious diseases with the profound hope for preventing them. I have spent 6+ hours on the phone with my insurance provider getting authorizations for enough medication to carry me for 3 months. The flat of pansies I bought before all of this broke is most certainly not getting planted and even if I did, Peter would not water them, so there is $12 right down the economic drain!
My moment of reckoning really came finally when I got a note from Magali, my HR person at MSF, asking me to fill out the attached “POL” form and just to review the complimentary document she was also sending. She pointed out that for the most part my region wouldn’t necessarily need this, but it was a simple protocol. So I go to my bin, download what I see is a Proof of Life form. This is not a request for my birth certificate! It is a rather extensive form that I most definitely hope will never appear on the news or in any other place where an appeal for me is being made. It is accompanied (you just might not believe this either) by a Psychosocial Survival Guide to Kidnapping. This extensive guide is 9 pages long!!!! So all you worriers out there, fret through the fear and know that there is nothing to worry about. It is all good. The country is 96% Buddhist and I am not sure what is in the remaining 4%, but they are probably pretty nice too!
Time for a shower and a glass of wine. There is not much else to be done, so I won’t try. A little trash TV tonight and in the morning I will be on my way. I thank everyone of you for the wonderful support that you have shared in your responses. That is what makes the difficult days on an assignment not-so-difficult and the good days even better. See you again soon.