February 5, 2014
December 25, 2013
I was born and raised in the North-Western area of the U.S. Where I grew up, there was not much diversity in ethnicity. So, it came to my entire community's surprise when I came home from my first year of college with a Pakistani boy in tow.
I have lived in Pakistan, my husband's country for 2 years now, raising our daughter while he pursues an advanced degree. Living here has been a blessing and a curse. I have learned so much from my in-laws and I have a wonderful opportunity to be a stay at home mother. I have so many blessings in my new family. They have accepted me from the first day I stepped through their door in 2008. I have been loved, cherished, and protected. I have an insight into the culture of my husband's tribe that many sociologists would envy the access to, and are routinely denied.
It is hard being here, because we live near a lot of terrorist activity. I have cowered in the courtyard with my arms wrapped around my daughter after hearing a blast. She has woken up to gunfire in the middle of the night due to disputes between angry men. Not to mention, the gunfire to herald the birth of a son or the marriage of a neighbor. I have hidden my face in the markets behind a veil as this is expected and necessary, as my light hair and blue eyes give me away as being a foreigner. This has led to crowd oggling or shop-keepers attempting to cheat us on prices of clothing. Sadly, this isn't because I'm foreign that these things happen, this is the daily plight of many in this area. It is a fact of life for many.
I worry every day as my husband goes to work. Wondering if he will make it home that night through the terrible traffic. When he is late and does not text. I don't worry that he's at the office playing around, or that he's cheating as most women in my home country do. I worry that he has been caught in the crossfire of a gunfight, that he was near the scene of a bomb blast. I fear for his safety just as much as I fear for my daughters.
I have searched online for someone, somewhere, who has been going through this same experience. Finding very little, I have decided that perhaps I will be the first voice to come out and start the base for others. I know that I am not the only western expat living in Pakistan, married to a Pakistani. Hopefully my reaching out will allow an insight into the world, and create a base for others to come as well.
I don't know where I will be going with this, and for security reasons I cannot divulge specifics like where we live, where we have lived, what my husband does, etc. But I will do my best to be candid and open. As time develops and I write about living here, those who know this world will pick up cues as to the area we are in. I will not answer inquiries as to where we are though. You may try, I will not answer ;).