Submitted by Brian Harding who blogs a little bit at ANairobic Inspiration
As members of the EAW community, Italians are a valuable resource when in [enter any country here]. Many Italians understand poverty deeply, simply because they come from Italy. This also means they know how to create the most nutritious of meals from the simplest of ingredients. (And everyone knows that EAWs love food). This skill is exceptionally useful when in countries that do not have access to proper food such as packaged chicken breasts, boxes of frozen burgers or a choice of fresh imported vegetables.
Making friends with Italians can be tough, though, as one of the favourite activities for Italian EAWs is spending time with other Italians. However, when this barrier is broken, Italians can be some of the greatest friends an EAW can have.
Italians offer glamour in places where glamour has not been invented yet. Their knowledge of La Bella Figura can mean that even when going to the expat bar or the house party, they know how to dress appropriately. They are also important at sourcing food and items that can make life for an EAW much easier. “No, dai, no, ….you musta go to the street where the butcher lives to get the best pieces.” Italians also import many delicious treats on their return from R&R in Italy and are like a hub in and of themselves.
Italians also generally work for “small Italian NGOs” that have many hallmarks of being GONGOs. These can have names that most EAWs have never heard of e.g “Dante Onorario Organizzazione per la Liberazione” or “Cooperazione Organizzazione Nazionale”. Such organisations never get an acronym. When Italians work for larger organisations; these are generally ones that have a headquarters in Rome. Italian organisations also like working in ex-colonies of Italy.
Italians can give other EAWs much to talk and gossip about. Italians are one of the few EAWs that like to meet locals in intimate ways, are known to go native and on occasion this can result in children. Invariably as Italians are a good-looking bunch, the child of such a pairing generally tends to be very beautiful.
Italians EAWs are also dedicated to staying in their duty station for many years. This is principally because they hate Silvio Berlusconi and Italian politics. The fear that Berlusconi (or in the future his ghost) may come back is also reason enough to maintain their position working as an EAW.
Overall Italians are great contributors to making the life of the EAW easier…. Oh yeah… and for the local people… they help those guys too.