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#190 Begrudging Non-Aid Working Expats

December 8, 2012

Submitted by Dumbo

These non-Aid-Working Expats… how exactly should the self-respecting EAW take them? (Image

How one should treat those expats in the private sector troubles many an EAW.  You have spent a fair chunk of your life at university, gained numerous degrees and are now putting them to good use before your idealism fades as fast as an African sunset.

So just who are these upstart people!?!? These uneducated (ok, maybe not, just less than you), local-staff-exploiting, money-hungry bastards that seem to move in and out of the EAW circles?

You’ve been there before… At the house party. At Pool Day Sunday. That field cred establishing conversation that you can’t help but have with each new person you meet, somehow falls flat when you run into the mercenary/gold prospector/shady ‘trader’.

Your EAW banter about your recent cluster f*ck meeting or proposal workshop doesn’t go down well with the guy you’re convinced has diamonds sewn somewhere under his skin. He’s vague about where he’s been, is just ‘doing some business’ and doesn’t seem to be adopting any form of dressing in local fabrics or jewellery made by the Handicapped AIDS Orphan Society.

He is clearly here to make money from the very people you are trying to help, and then he will get the hell out. His idea of charity is to pay someone the smallest denomination of your local worthless currency to scour the city for the last remaining bottles of tonic water lurking in some dusty duka.

You really should hate this guy. While you are out there building capacity, he is building his own personal fortune at the expense of the BOP.

You want to hate him. You should probably hate him.

But… your curfew is approaching. You need to get home. He doesn’t have a curfew.

Your driver is calling you, pestering you. Mr. Private Sector has his own car.

Suddenly, he’s not so bad after all.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. NOYB permalink
    December 12, 2012 8:05 pm

    Last ones in and first ones out when the shit hits the fan. No matter how much local garb you wear, LP phrasebook lingo you speak, or how many times you go drinking with your driver/translator if you can’t drop the sanctimonious worldview that you are somehow different than any other foreign parasite working there then the joke is on you. I started out in the aid sector but moved to private after years of listening to and reading drivel like this. Having seen EAW cliques devour themselves time after time, claiming some world weary BTDT cred from a 6-12 month rotation spent mostly updating their facebook status and lording over the local staff who does all the real work I cannot see where this false sense of superiority comes from. Many of us were here before you arrived and will still be here long after you leave to get another useless international development degree, leaving behind half finished programs that were cancelled due to a lack of “sustainability” or your single source funder now wants to focus on another trendy project in a more PR friendly crisis zone. Now do everyone a favor and get over yourself and do some real good.

    • DSB permalink
      December 17, 2012 11:52 am

      Thank goodnes that someone not perceptive enough to get the winking sarcastic tone of the post is now in the private sector instead of out there “building capacity” to save the world like the rest of us. ;^)

  2. NOYB permalink
    December 28, 2012 10:02 am

    I got the tone. I just really needed to get that out ;)


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