What was life like in Pakistan?
Life in Pakistan is very different from life in America. Pakistani culture is actually pretty laid back and relatively slow-paced. It’s pretty easy to make the situation there sound much more intense than it really was. For instance, I could say that I lived on a high security boarding school compound that had experienced a previous terrorist attack and now had frequent lockdown drills and a secret escape passage. But I could also say that it was in the beautiful foothills of the Himalayas with monkeys that lived on our basketball court and playground, and with a closely knit multicultural missionary community with five nationalities represented in my seven-person graduating class. One thing is for sure: American media tends to do the former, making the entire country seem terror stricken and war-torn. It was not so. In fact, it was not that difficult being an American-Christian in Pakistan because the government was still giving out missionary visas until recently.
What’s one of the biggest differences between life in Pakistan and life here?
One of the biggest differences between Pakistan and America is the way they do family. I grew up in a culture where you, your immediate family, your extended family and all of their animals live on the same property. The responsibility of parenting is on every family member and when those kids grow up, it is more appropriate for them not to leave the household. One’s identity is in their family or tribe—so my family feels closer to me, and I to them. Also, in this culture, friendship means more than a relationship between two individuals—it means you’re part of the family. Coming to Messiah, it was cool to see that they had a Community Covenant. It was very familiar to me. It’s like my new family.
What’s a really interesting story you’d like to share?
One time I went hiking in the Himalayan Mountains with my tenth grade class in the spring. We thought there wasn’t going to be any snow, so we were not prepared for any. But, it turned out that we ran into some in the middle of the hike. So there were all kinds of catastrophes—there were guys in shorts and in tennis shoes without any grip on the bottom, people were falling down, losing their glasses and there were people beginning to cry. But the worst part of it was that we split into two groups— one group got lost, and they didn’t have proper tents so they had to find another campsite to stay the night. It was a disaster.
What do you like to do in your free time on campus?
I like to go around hanging out with my friends and meeting new people. Also, I’m always down for a good jam session whenever the opportunity presents itself. Music is so great—it brings people together.
Pancakes or waffles?
Waffles all the way! I am not ashamed to admit that I have used the waffle-maker in Lottie twice a day. I have yet to get a waffle hat trick, though…
If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would they be?
My Bible, my family and a hatchet.