Fear Factor: Pakistan

Sarah Stuteville, for the Pulitzer CenterFearfactorpak

I've become terrified of my email. I've always been a little skittish of the inbox, never knowing what that first login might bring to my day - an outraged critique of a recent article, a facebook request from a long lost ex-boyfriend - but in the weeks leading up to our departure my crowded inbox has set my stomach lurching in newly anxious ways as I sift through daily accounts of the chaos that has touched down in Pakistan.

As I sit here in my spacious Seattle kitchen, sipping tea and listening to my roommates play video games in the living room, the mosque bombings in Peshawar, kidnappings in Northwest Frontier Province and most recent attacks in Lahore are fuzzy nightmares slowly pulling into focus. Usually, by this time in trip preparations I'm all buttoned up and ready to go. My backpack should be neatly set beside the door, my immunization card tucked into my passport and my little plane snacks safely in zip lock bags.