You might have been on mission for too long, if …

Rainbows over base campYou might have been on mission for too long, if …

  • diarrhoea has become a completely ordinary and acceptable conversation topic at breakfast
  • you have forgotten the door code for your apartment at home and have to ask your tenant
  • you get upset if a new member of the team sits at “your” spot for breakfast
  • the location of “your” spot on the table has become part of the briefing for new members of the team
  • you cannot come up with any non-work topics to talk about, even though you are trying really hard
  • 06:15 feels like oversleeping
  • you can’t figure out what month it is, but you can instantly calculate the current time at headquarters
  • you start counting down to your next R&R less than one week after coming back from your last one
  • you introduce people as “he’s the new Edward” or “she’s the new Sandra” –  and nobody understand your reference
  • you remember the names of people from three rotations ago, but can’t be bothered to learn the current ones
  • you have trouble sleeping in a real bed
  • you read an OCHA SitRep and know what all the acronyms and abbreviations mean
  • you are genuinely startled when you see yourself in a mirror
  • you start feeling tired at 18:00 because that’s when curfew is,  even while on R&R
  • you can’t remember the last time you saw a movie that wasn’t on somebody’s hard disk or came on a DVD from Thailand
  • your mental image of a romantic evening is anywhere out of sight of latrines
  • you can accurately predict who will be in the communal showers before entering
  • people think it’s appropriate for them to show you the fungus they have picked up in the shower, even though you are neither a doctor nor a nurse

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this list over the last few months!

Additions are more than welcome 🙂

  • Lilianne Fan

    You start getting offers of citizenship in your host country and suggestions that you run for public office.

  • Coincidence, I blogged about exactly the same stuff…. I called it “you have been aidworker for to long” 🙂

  • George

    you can pick out which of the 30 identical white Toyota's your driving intuitively.

    you sign on to facebook to discover that it's you birthday and then you have to count to figure out how old you are.

    you pick your socks in the morning based on the stiffness of the fabric

  • Bibi

    you fell naked without a thuraya, 2 cell phones and a handset !

  • Nomad

    you can instantly identify the origin and type of feaces spread out on the ground