This post is no longer available on this blog.
This post is now part of J.’s book, Letters Left Unsent, available on Amazon.
Tags: China, emergency response, Haiti, naval-gazing
” As exciting as the aid-work life might sound to those outside of it, there are days when I honestly wonder if the last ten years have been worth it. I wonder if I should have just been an accountant. Or a bus driver.”
I’m glad you wrote this. I’m often around comfortable ppl who see glamour in aid work and I want to know, wtf are they looking at? I hear this so much–what, with the popularity of humanitarian or development projects in magazines–I begin to wonder if I’m the crazy one.
Uh… yeah, no – you’re not crazy. This is a lot harder than it looks…
Yes, J. I know you’re not “here” any longer. More’s the pity, but I suppose you were feeling that your comments were redundant. There’s only so much one can say to people who already understand or to those who will never understand.
Yes, there’s a certain “glamour factor” for the latter group. To them, I say: It may be rewarding at the end of the day. . .or not. Managing a household (including “domestiques” to do your bidding) may seem “fun” at the start, but it soon becomes Another Job, in addition to what you’re supposed to be doing — which includes: your main gig, reporting to the funding agency, reporting to the home office, and, most importantly, helping the beneficiaries in some way you hope is significant. I often wonder what else I might have done with my life. And I say “NAH.”
Thanks for that. And you can still find me, in case you weren’t aware, here: http://aidspeak.WordPress.com
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