Skip to content

#1 Talking about being an expat aid worker

December 11, 2010

It started as a simple post over on Shotgun Shack.

It turned into a twitter hashtag  (#stuffexpataidworkerslike) that hit a nerve and took off faster than an aid worker heading to the bar after a day of life-saving meetings. 

Seems one thing expat aid workers really like is talking about being expat aid workers.

So we bring you Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like: the blog.

Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like will be an ongoing series of sometimes satirical, sometimes ironic, usually humorous (but sometimes dead serious), always honest vignettes of the humanitarian aid and development industry from the inside. Sometimes we want to complain about one of the many ills of the Aid System. Other times we celebrate that same system. Sometimes we attempt to impress you with our erudition as we explicate the subtle nuances of ethics and morality where cultures and world views collide. Sometimes we will be harsh (it’s a harsh world out there). Sometimes we will try to set the record straight. Sometimes all we want is to one-up you with a story of how we’ve suffered in the field. There will be likely be a good deal of mocking (of self and others) involved.

J. (@talesfromthhood) and @shotgunshack will post here, but we’ll take ideas from some other folks too if they fit the bill.  Think you have what it takes? Give us your best shot. Submit an idea at stuffexpataidworkerslike [at] gmail [dot] com.

Check the Twitter hashtag #stuffexpataidworkerslike for a taste, and look for some more posts coming up soon.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel permalink
    December 20, 2010 4:26 am

    Wow. I’ve just found this. I’ll be working on a submission.

    — Rachel (in Goma or Erbil or wherever)

  2. Kristin permalink
    December 23, 2010 3:51 am

    I generally have nothing original to say, so unfortunately I probably won’t be submitting anything. You seem to be doing well enough without me though, which is great. Good on you.

    In other news, have you considered working the word ‘development’ into this somehow? Being a development worker reading your blog, I’ve picked up on some common themes in the particular ‘likes’ of our two species…

    Also, post topic suggestion: buzz words and/or acronyms.

    Thanks for the good read.

  3. Patty permalink
    February 28, 2011 5:52 am

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I am an anthropologist who studies development, aid and charity, and I find this hilarious and apt. I will probably use this blog in teaching.

    Now: if only all of you would find the courage and determination to subvert your own practices that you yourselves obviously see right through as much of the rest of us do…. then maybe we could all get on with being a world full of interdependent human beings. But in the meantime, I applaud you for having the guts to be ironic – and also for writing some frickin’ spot-on brilliant essays here.


  1. Things that work: migration, mockery, meta-things and more | Dave Algoso [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]
  2. #221 Embracing Change | Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: