#2 Blending In
Guidebooks, field security managers and random globetrotting backpackers alike have one peice of essential advice for the Expat Aid Worker: Blend In.
We agree. Blending in is imperative. For two reasons.
First, it shows your solidarity with the locals. You eat their food, you wear their clothes, you’ve learned enough of their language to buy food and clothes. If you blend in well enough, they might mistake you for one of them. And there is no higher honor for the expat aid worker than to be mistaken for local.
Second, it keeps you safe. The nail that sticks up the tallest gets pounded down the hardest. And the expat aid worker who looks like an expat aid worker is just asking to be the target of a never-ending river of beggars, shoe-shine boys, corrupt policemen, diamond mine owners in need of investors, pimps, bandits, and students who want to practice English.
It’s better to just blend in.