Friday, August 17, 2012

52 reasons why you should date an aid worker

By Allison Smith, Brendan Rigby & Weh Yeoh

In the romance stakes, aid workers often get a bad rap. In fact, recently over at On Motherhood and Sanity, we heard about 52 reasons why you shouldn’t date an aid worker. We love that site, but respectfully, we disagree (yep, clearly not breaking any of the stereotypes outlined). Here’s why:

1. You will never have to suffer through a song by Bono or Madonna in their presence. After all, irrespective of their successful hits, “what do they know about development?”

2. They’re good at bargaining, and always pay close to local price.

3. They know how to fix a bicycle, using only a toothpick, some dental floss and a few small twigs.

4. They’ll be able to tell you the exchange rate in any country, down to the nearest cent.

5. In a crisis, they are seemingly unflappable, even if they’re melting down inside.
6. Impressive gut bacterial flora.

7. They’ll have an plentiful supply of cassava, chia seeds or any other obscure super-foods that you can tap into.

8. They’ll never complain about a hard mattress, a non-fluffy pillow or a cold shower (though you might have to suffer through a story about a harder mattress, less fluffy pillow or a positively arctic shower from years ago).

9. They know how much it should cost to take a taxi from the airport, even if they haven’t been to that country before.

10. They can quote lines from Hotel Rwanda.

11. They’re okay with using squat toilets – in fact, they may even tell you how it’s better for you because it elongates your bowel.

12. They make good +1′s to weddings, birthdays and open house parties. Impress your friends.

13. You will not have to indulge your own sense of guilt at social injustice and global inequalities, as they will take the whole burden on their own shoulders.

14. Smugness doesn’t come easier than when dating an aid worker.

15. Use ‘Moral Credits’ gained from dating an aid worker to offset the morally hazardous aspects of your life.

16. No, you do not have to give a beggar change. Although, there is evidence demonstrating the positive effects of non-conditional cash transfers, it may not have any robust effect on long-term earnings or savings.

17. Never feel like you need to donate clothing to charity again!

18. You’ll have reason to visit all kinds of exotic destinations around the world, places you would have never visited (and perhaps never wanted to…).

19. Get perspective on your cold/sprained ankle/other injury or ailment – hey, it’s not malaria!

20. Your mother will love the fact that you’re dating someone so caring.

21. They will be able to pack a suitcase or backpack as effectively as Mary Poppins.

22. They will be perfectly content if you skimp out on their birthday and take them to the local hole-in-the-wall place, because it serves “real Pho”.

23. They’ll know how to stream obscure interstate cricket matches/American football games/curling bonspiels via your PC.

24. If they are male (and sometimes even if it isn’t), they’ll have an uncanny knack for growing impressive beards. As the band “The Beards” suggests, You Should Consider Having Sex With a Bearded Man

25. They won’t know who Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry or any others on the Billboard charts are, being so out of touch with pop culture “back home”.

26. They know how to use Seatguru to find the safest and best seat on any plane, in case of an emergency.

27. They actually enjoy candle-lit homes, although this is double-edged, as it may take away the romance aspect of candles.

28. Your belief in democracy will be restored, as you will come to appreciate the significance of being able to vote for one of two parties.

29. They’ll know the one spot in any airport where you can find unlocked wifi.

30. Spending too much time on social media and blogs is better than spending nights at some club with that work colleague (“She’s just a friend!”).

31. They’ll have done yoga at some stage – flexibility is good, right?

32. They’ll have a camera on them at all times.

33. They’ll be the first to know about breaking news around the world. “Hmmm, I hope those folk in Galle, Sri Lanka, will be okay after that tsunami..”.

34. They won’t be easily sold by Fair Trade, Carbon Neutral businesses, or any other seemingly quick-fix solutions.

35. They know how to troubleshoot your SMTP settings on Outlook, so you can actually send emails from outside your home network.

36. She’ll know how to wax her legs using candlewax and foolscap paper (although more likely is that she doesn’t wax at all).

37. They’ll be able to track down Vegemite, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or any other geo-centric snacks, no matter where you are in the world.

38. As they view material possessions as unnecessary and nothing more than a nuisance when moving, you will never have to give them any kind of gifts.

39. You’ll feel better about what you earn in your job.

40. Your son/daughter will become their school’s Model UN President (and work to bring about democratic changes to the Model UN from a bottom-up approach).

41. Have you ever wanted to see bureaucracy at a household level? Yes? Date an aid worker and see that everything is accounted for.

42. Your children will be empowered through a Family Micro-loans and Savings scheme, rather than the orthodox Weekly Allowance scheme, which creates dependency and has shown to only promote sugar highs.

43. Your friends will think you’re going out with someone with the flair and mystery of Indiana Jones, when in actual fact you’re going out with someone closer to Michael Cera.

Michael Cera and Indiana Jones

44. They will never, under any circumstances, inflict Kony 2012 on you.

45. They will be able to seduce you with that most romantic of languages, Bahasa Indonesia. “Saya cinta kamu”. Ah. It warms the heart.

46. You’ll never have to worry about what they look like when they’re not “dolled up”, because chances are, they looked their roughest when you first met them.

47. They are able to use the phrase “I’m going to a networking event” with a straight face.

48. You will get to participate in your first “tweetup” w/ #globaldev wonks in NYC. #smartaid #1milliontshirts #whatonearthisatweetup?

49. You will beat out celebrities to the next batch of exotic and trending baby names.

50. They wouldn’t be caught dead in Crocs.

51. They’ll know how to speak English to anyone, regardless of where they’re from. For example, they’ll say “seeya this arvo” to an Aussie, “Oh! Master, I beg you. I want to doze small small” to a Ghanaian and “why the hell do you call that hat a toque, eh?” to a Canadian.

52. If you end up getting married and your wedding is being paid for by either of your parents….well, let’s just say that aid workers know how to schmooze donors.

World Humanitarian Day

Mercy Ships Pays Tribute to Ghanaian Crew Member who Battled Cancer


Long-time volunteer Gina Adjei honored for her life of service with Mercy Ships.

Garden Valley, TX (PRWEB) August 14, 2012 

On August 19, World Humanitarian Day raises awareness about humanitarian assistance worldwide – and especially about those people who put their lives at risk while serving others. In recognition of this special observance, the global charity Mercy Ships pays tribute to volunteer crew member Georgina (Gina) Achiaa Adjei (August 12, 1965- July 5, 2012), who served onboard Mercy Ships from 1995 until her death from cancer this summer.

Gina Adjei loves on a young patient.
“People take notice of a life filled with exuberant joy, a spirit of worship, and the genuine faith and knowledge that God is good, all of the time,” says former Mercy Ships Hospital Director Jean Campbell. “Georgina Achiaa Adjei lived just such a life.”

Gina first came aboard the Mercy Ships hospital ship, the Anastasis, in February 1995. She had just married crew member Lawrence Adjei, and she was joining him onboard. Gina initially served in the galley with the Food Services Department.

Lawrence and Gina made their ship’s cabin into a home, and in 2004 the pair welcomed their newborn son, Daniel Ashitey, with great joy and celebration. In 2005, the family transferred from the Anastasis to the newest hospital ship, the Africa Mercy. Four years later, the Adjeis welcomed a daughter, Esther Asheley, into their family.

Gina served in several different departments onboard, beginning with food services. She later moved to the Outreach Department, where she was able to focus on sharing her love for Jesus with those she encountered when the ship was docked in West Africa. She also periodically served as a tour guide, welcoming guests and sharing with them the vision and purpose of Mercy Ships.

In her final years with Mercy Ships, Gina was a counselor with the Patient Life Team. She brought wonderful qualities to this role – her total devotion to God, her years of service with Mercy Ships, her deep understanding of the West African culture, and her great compassion.

African crew members play key roles in Mercy Ships. Ghanaian native Gina Adjei served onboard the ship with 16 crewmembers from Ghana.

When Gina first applied to serve with Mercy Ships in 1995, the following was her answer to the question about her calling: “I see God’s calling in my life as a blessing to others who don’t know Him. And to let my way of life and character attract people to Himself, for His glory also to be revealed.”

Mercy Ships Founders Don and Deyon Stephens say, “Gina more than fulfilled this calling. Her life goes on here on earth in all those she touched, be that fellow crew members, patients in the hospital, or untold visitors to the ships.”


The following volunteer positions are currently available for the 2012 Field Service:
Eye Teams:
For more information, contact a Mercy Ships Recruiter at 903-939-7000 or email jobs(at)mercyships(dot)org

The General Assembly of the United Nations has designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day, to raise public awareness of humanitarian assistance worldwide and the people who risk their lives in order to provide it. Every day, humanitarian aid workers help millions of people around the world, regardless of who they are and where they are. This year’s campaign theme, "People Helping People," is about inspiring the spirit of aid work in everyone.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thank you London!

"How," they asked -- cab drivers, waiters, the man in the cue at Pret -- "can we possibly compete with Beijing?"

That worry -- along with traffic and terrorism and tickets -- seemed to be the biggest concern of the Brits before the Games began. Beijing had been flashy, staged with an unlimited budget. How would they ever top it?

By being themselves, that's how. By being British and welcoming and funny. By keeping calm and carrying on. By loving sports with a rich, wild, self-amused fervor.

There was no Bird's Nest or Watercube here. The actual Olympic Park wasn't much to look at and will probably be dissembled like a five-year-old's Lego structure in a matter of months. However, the rest of the city, a place of towers and bridges and palaces and history around every corner -- certainly was something to look at. The beauty of the bike race and marathon, Big Ben peeking over the beach volleyball -- that topped anything they built in Beijing.

The Olympics isn't about fancy venues. Most of them become white elephants anyway. It's about tapping into the soul and passion of a country, about a love of sports and a welcome to the world.

And that's how London topped Beijing. -- Ann Killion

By winning gold in the 200-meter butterfly, Chad Le Clos of South Africa ensured that Michael Phelps's record-tying 18th Olympic medal would be a silver. More than that, though, this event gave us a glimpse into two quite wonderful and very Olympic things: The power of a champion to inspire, and Phelps' human side. Le Clos had grown up idolizing Phelps -- he and his coach had watched thousands of hours of tape of Phelps in competition and the South African had been motivated to win his gold at the 2010 Olympic Youth Games in Singapore as a result of Phelps' appearance there as an "athlete ambassador" -- and now, in the adjacent lane, Le Clos had a chance to match Phelps stroke for stroke. After he did -- and out-touched Phelps at the finish -- we got the payoff: a chance to see Phelps escort Le Clos through the medal-ceremony protocol, show him how to pose for the cameras, etc. We'd gotten so accustomed to seeing Phelps as a winner, it was good to see humility and grace when he fell just short. -- Alex Wolff

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Africa Mercy in Drydock!

Every year the Africa Mercy receives vital upgrades and repairs to continue serving the forgotten poor. This short video is an impression of that very important time in this non-profit's efforts. 

If you cannot see the video below, click HERE!