Log 2—Pre Flight Jitters

Log 2—Pre Flight Jitters

Readers might be surprised to know this, but in over 30 years working abroad I have never left my mothers home for a new assignment, except on my maiden voyage to Taiwan on my first flight to Asia. Since 1981 I have always been working and leaving from my own residence, with my own immediate family, my own home help and my own teams of employees surrounding and supporting me. Normally I have people who help me prep for new assignments (be that for clients or on contractual projects like this).

I realized when I signed this contract in San Francisco California (not in my home in Asia) that my preparation required me to do many more steps in the process of departure. Simply I have my mother and my sister and my best mates to consider. I could not just drop everything, pack a bag and depart with passport in hand: a trait I am known for doing in less than 24 hours. To leave for Ethiopia required me to consider how my parent would feel. Instead of calling her up and telling her I was leaving tomorrow for Timbuktu, I knew a quick departure would not be right. It would not feel good. And, so preparation meant planning quality time together before leaving. No quick exit.

This preparation period concurring simultaneous to some horrific world events— the announcement of the aid worker Kayla Muellers death in Syria, and the beheading of over 20 Copic Egyptians by ISIL My mother a news junkie is very much aware of these world events and I am knowingly aware that these events were creating more worry for her. How could they not: I am at heart (whether working on a commercial or non profit project) an aid worker. And, she a mother who always has to let go. The pre departure jitters for both of us at an unusually extreme level of silent nervousness….

Every aidworker, every global executive, every world traveler and their family must be much more aware of the dangers that exist now (than in 1980’s when I first left the states) when one steps offshore. “We” international global citizens are at risk. That’s fact. Not an easy thought or realization but the truth. And, the further we travel, the more distant places we take assignments to, the more unknowns for ourselves and those we leave behind.

I have felt jittery for the last few weeks.
I have never in three decades experienced this contemplation of my own fears.
I have never admitted to myself that by doing what I love (helping world communities) I set those I love up for weeks of worry………

I face this fact now.
Its not a pleasant feeling of the truth.

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