Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like - Luv this site!

We suggest you
not run your country
like America.
Hi all. Now, for those of you who have never lived overseas as an 'expat' they say, this may not make any sense. But for those of us who have, and primarily in developing countries (that means poor as f-all) this makes a great deal of sense. Aid workers belong to the business class we call NGOs, or Non-Governmental Organizations. You may refer to the Red Cross or Unicef or Doctors Without Borders to get your bearings here. These are organizations from rich countries that run TV spots in your country looking for just $20 a month to support an African child or drill wells in Mongolia to irrigate the Gobi. Rubbish. So much of this does little to help the locals and a whole lot more to make the foundation holders feel as if they are helping the world - like inventing dynamite and then giving out a peace award is in some way, making up for the dynamite.

Country managers and high ranking staff ( and anybody from a rich country who went to a brand name university ) live in nice houses, have Land Rovers and drivers and rarely spend a day in the 'poor' villages they show you in the brochure. The last 'Foundation' CEO I met had an office on the 26th floor of one of the prime office towers in town. And then I went to Danang and saw their 'Foundation' retreat on the beach. Any poor people there?  I didn't think so. Looked more like cabanas on the beach and championship Colin Montgomerie golf across the street. Thank you Mr.Corp.

When I was in Mongolia, George Soros bought an old Russian mansion in town and had it refurbished to look like what? And old Russian mansion - just so they could run what he calls the Soros Open Society Foundation. They teach poor people how to make newspapers.Rich people creating the illusion that if you followed their lead, that you might actually be like them. So cruel, so wrong. Just selling another Gucci handbag - maybe a real one, made by your cousin.

The people who work for these NGOs are called Expat Aid Workers. But what it really means is a bunch of  upper middle class kids at least from very respected schools come to do 'non-profit' work for what in the end, works out to be considerable profit in terms of local lifestyle - not to mention some serious street-cred back at the old sailing club. Oh, sure, it's less than they might get at J.P. Morgan or Goldman, but WTF, they're in BumFudgeNowhere helping 'poor' people and not shoveling the same old horse shit they'd have to back on Wall Street. Cheerio chaps!

Read away.

#31 Using Words in Other Languages

MARCH 7, 2011
One of the few things that Expat Aid Workers love more than having a deep, nuanced and specific understanding of many local cultures, is being able to demonstrate (show, don’t tell)  to others that they have a deep, nuanced and specific understanding of many local cultures. And there are few things that get this across as effectively as using words in other languages.
Many will confuse “using words in other languages” with “speaking another language.” But these two things are not at all the same. Speaking another language is a great skill to have if you’re tied down to one place. Speaking another language can make it easier to “go native. ” Phraseology in another language can certainly help those Expat Aid Workers who like to explain local culture to locals. It can also make those who dress like locals (perhaps in an attempt to blend in) or who make a point of not seeing other foreigners more convincing.
But using words in a variety of other languages helps to show that you have been around. Peppering your speech, skype chats, Facebook updates with words in other languages lends thatje ne sais quoi of a true global nomad. “Accidentally” murmuring phrases in a random language during sex  (“I just don’t know how to express that in English….”) helps you play up the mysterious, nomadic part of your persona. Using words in other languages communicates that you have a deep, phuc tap personality. You have spent so much of your life as a mzungu or bule that very little can phase you. (read more by clicking the title)

D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
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D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
Find me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Read my previous blog: The Wild Wild East Dailies.