What’s does working in international development mean?
It means I work in activities that are funded and/or managed by money given by Multi-Laterals (UN, UNICEF, European Commission, UNDP, WorldBank, IMF, WHO, etc.) or Bi-Laterals (USAID–United States Agency for International Development, JICA, DFID, GTZ, CIDA, etc.) or NGOS–Non-Government Organizations (Aga Khan Foundation–AKF, CARE, Save the Children, World Vision, ADRA–Adventist Development Relief Agency, CRS–Catholic Relief Services). FBOs (Faith Based Organizations) include the work of churches and missionaries in which money is donated by members of those churches. Contrary to what Americans think the US gives less to international foreign than other nations of equivalent wealth. In reality US assistance (as a percent of personal income) is second to last among wealthy nations. Americans THINK that about 24% of our federal budget goes to foreign aid. In reality less than one percent of the budget goes to development assistance.
Do you get lonely living in Egypt on your own?
All the time. That’s why I started this blog it keeps me focused and gives me something to do on the weekends. I miss my husband and other family members a lot. But it’s much easier living overseas now with all the technology that exists to keep us in touch. I oovoo with my husband every day. And just yesterday I had a video call and talked to my four grandchildren. Oskar told me about England, Annika read a story to me about a cat, Kiersten showed me the bunny bag she made for Easter and Kardynn told grandma “I love you gamma.” Now, if only they can come up with some kind of technology to send kisses and hugs…now THAT would be awesome!!
What is Egypt like?
It’s fantastic! The culture and history is phenomenal. But the people are even better. They are kind and generous. My colleagues have been so patient and supportive of me–I couldn’t ask for a nicer group of people to work with. Now, if only they’d do something about this Arabic thing….get that sorted out and life would be perfect!!!