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#191 Being ‘based’

December 13, 2012

Submitted by Marcin Monko who tweets at @marcinmonko

Regular people live. EAWs are ‘based’.

When you live, you are stationary, you’re attached. You wake up each day, take your kids to the kindergarten, do shopping on Saturdays, and neither your phone number nor the list of your friends has changed much since high school.

It’s different when you are EAW and you’re ‘based’. Even if you’ve been based for the past 20 years, you will still always say you’re based and you pretend that it’s all temporary. It’s a mission. One day you’re based in Bratislava, then you’re based Brazzaville.

Saying you’re based conveys a sense of detachment. This coolness is necessary when your capacity-building skills are once needed in North Kivu and other times in South Ossetia. You are ready for deployment. 24/7.

“I’m based” has also a military whiff about it. It’s about discipline, order. You do the service, and you sacrifice.

And when you are a senior EAW and you say you are based in Geneva or New York, it makes you an integral part of the institution.

Actually, you know what? You are the institution.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dave hodgkin permalink
    December 15, 2012 4:28 am

    Damn this blog is too accurate, it should be outlawed!
    I say this speaking as an aid worker based out of Indonesia…

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