Snakes, a foreign language, scorching heat and deadly diseases are just a few of the things that await Palmerston North's top cop.
Palmerston North area commander Inspector Pat Handcock will embark on his first overseas deployment, to East Timor, next week.
At 56, he felt it was a good time to leave New Zealand for such an adventure, with all of his three children having left home.
Mr Handcock will be part of the first deployment for a new project in community policing mentoring.
He is one of eight New Zealand police officers going over, initially for five weeks.
After he returns, he will go for another two four-week deployments before the end of the year.
He said the project was about mentoring the Timorese district commanders and their support staff about community policing.
"It's about introducing the Timorese police to modern policing philosophies and practices," he said.
"I suppose over time they've probably been more militarised than a civilian police organisation. It's about growing their capability in working with the community to reduce crime through trust and confidence."
To prepare, Mr Handcock had trawled through "just about every website there is on Timor".
"It's certainly my intention to go in there and look, learn, listen and provide them with the very best advice I can give them," he said.
He expected it would be a challenge to part with his family, but had their support.
His wife was keen to see him experience something new and different in his policing career.
Mr Handcock aimed to keep in regular contact through mobile phone and the internet, and was setting up a Facebook page so his family could see what he was up to.
"I'm told the infrastructure around Timor-Leste is a lot better than what it was 10 years ago," he said.
Mr Handcock has completed a week of pre-deployment training and during it he was told how to avoid rabies, dengue fever and malaria.
"I think I'd be stupid if I didn't certainly anticipate some comfort issues. It depends on where we are, our accommodation might be sort of one star."
Some of the four regions the police officers would be posted were unlikely to have "good international communications", he said.
Mr Handcock flies out to East Timor on June 28. Senior Sergeant Brett Calkin will be filling in during Mr Handcock's absence.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What would you like the weather to do in March?