Working in development aid is tough, and – as you might have noticed – you are faced with many dilemmas, doubts and disillusionments. If you ever get to that point, Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like looks like a good source for a humorous approach to dealing with all this. From this weeks post, a great Venn Diagram to help you navigate (current and former) EAWs:
And the quote that sums it all up:
The journeyman EAW, of course, will quickly develop cynicism as a way of gaining social currency with peers and those he or she aspires to be counted among. Easy first steps include cynicism about host governments, donor agencies, and head office administration. Cynicism about program quality, impact and UN coordination meetings quickly follows.
The more experienced EAW, of course, will be cynical about such trite cynicism. She or he has developed cynicism to a higher plane and is cynical about the humanitarian imperative (there is only selfish action); little grandmothers who donate to charity (tax breaks); and recipient communities (eviscerating the myth of the noble savage with bitter joy).
(And yes, occasionally you will meet all the types of people described in the post. But no, they are/ it is not all there is.)