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.

 

And, if you ever need to break up with an aid worker, just remember, there are 50 ways to leave your lover.

 

Over to you now – can you think of any more reasons why aid workers are date-worthy? Please let us know in the comments.

You can also follow Allison Smith, Brendan Rigby and Weh Yeoh on Twitter for more dating advice.

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WhyDev Team

The WhyDev writing team consists of Brendan, Weh, Rachel, Jennifer & Laurie. Check out more about the team on the "About Us" page.

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23 thoughts on “52 reasons why you should date an aid worker”

  1. Not to diminish the great work an aid worker does, but this assumes the aid worker is always from a Western country. There are obviously many non-Western aid workers. This also does not recognize that citizens of many countries receiving aid actually do a lot to help in their own countries, without publicizing it, without belonging to an organization that gets publicity. Also, many of these would be true for any well-off person in a developing country…..Since some of these people actually do have a heart and actually do a lot without expecting any recognition for it.

    1. You are absolutely right. But, keep in mind this post is for humour and was written by aid workers from ‘western’ countries. We can only speak for these and not non-western aid workers ;)

  2. That was MY question, Nicole. should it be a link on a Match.com profile?
    Can’t believe #40 is actually true in my family.

  3. Being a “paired up” aid worker with my husband…Yep, definitely all this x2! I shared this list with him (we are currently on seperate assignments, in two continents…of course) and we had a good laugh.

  4. *51.5 – They will always be quick to correct your own stabs at African English (To say “small small” is to incrementally get somewhere/do something… I think in this case, Masta, just doze small)

  5. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days.

  6. I absolutely love this! Many are true, some are just cute and others are just funny.

    My favourite is number 45 as it will apply to me one day :)

  7. hey I’m a humanitarian worker working for Handicap International …..when i shared your post with my girlfriend this was her judgement on me in line with the criteria that was presented ….

    Regards

    Sasha

    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?” OK
    2. They’re good at bargaining, and always pay close to local price. OK
    3. They know how to fix a bicycle, using only a toothpick, some dental floss and a few small twigs. MMMMMM DON’T THINK SO
    4. They’ll be able to tell you the exchange rate in any country, down to the nearest cent. THAT IS TRUE, AT LEAST FOR UGANDA
    5. In a crisis, they are seemingly unflappable, even if they’re melting down inside. MHH OK
    6. Impressive gut bacterial flora. NOOOO
    7. They’ll have an plentiful supply of cassava, chia seeds or any other obscure super-foods that you can tap into. NO
    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).NO
    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. MHHH NOT SURE
    10. They can quote lines from Hotel Rwanda. DONT THINK SO
    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. NO
    12. They make good +1′s to weddings, birthdays and open house parties. Impress your friends. MAYBE
    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. MAYBE
    14. Smugness doesn’t come easier than when dating an aid worker. BUH
    15. Use ‘Moral Credits’ gained from dating an aid worker to offset the morally hazardous aspects of your life. MAYBE
    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! NO..U R FULL OF CLOTHES
    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…). TRUE
    19. Get perspective on your cold/sprained ankle/other injury or ailment – hey, it’s not malaria! YES
    20. Your mother will love the fact that you’re dating someone so caring. MAYBE
    21. They will be able to pack a suitcase or backpack as effectively as Mary Poppins. NOT TRUE..U MOVED WITH 5 LUGGAGE
    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”. NOT TRUE
    23. They’ll know how to stream obscure interstate cricket matches/American football games/curling bonspiels via your PC. MAYBE
    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 YES
    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”. NOT TRUE, U KNOW EVERYBODY
    26. They know how to use Seatguru to find the safest and best seat on any plane, in case of an emergency. MHHHH
    27. They actually enjoy candle-lit homes, although this is double-edged, as it may take away the romance aspect (AHAHAHAH) of candles. DON’T THINK SO
    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. MGHHH
    29. They’ll know the one spot in any airport where you can find unlocked wifi. DON’T THINK IS U
    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!”). AND U PLAY POOL WITH HER AND I HATE BOTH OF U
    31. They’ll have done yoga at some stage – flexibility is good, right? U DON’T DO YOGA
    32. They’ll have a camera on them at all times. MOST OF THE TIME
    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..”. EHEHHEHEHE THIS IS RAKESH
    34. They won’t be easily sold by Fair Trade, Carbon Neutral businesses, or any other seemingly quick-fix solutions. DON’T KNOW
    35. They know how to troubleshoot your SMTP settings on Outlook, so you can actually send emails from outside your home network. DONT THINK IS U
    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). THAT IS NOT U AT ALL  BUT U DO IT IN UR FACE
    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. AHAHAHAHA
    39. You’ll feel better about what you earn in your job. I DON’T HAVE ONE
    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). WE DONT’ HAVE
    41. Have you ever wanted to see bureaucracy at a household level? Yes? Date an aid worker and see that everything is accounted for. NOT WITH U
    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. AHHA
    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. YEP

    44. They will never, under any circumstances, inflict Kony 2012 on you.  TRUE
    45. They will be able to seduce you with that most romantic of languages, Bahasa Indonesia. “Saya cinta kamu”. Ah. It warms the heart. NO – CAUSE U R NOT REALLY ROMANTIC
    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. NO U R NOT…U R NOT A TREE HUGGER 
    48. You will get to participate in your first “tweetup” w/ #globaldev wonks in NYC. #smartaid #1milliontshirts #whatonearthisatweetup? U DON’T KNOW WHAT TWITTER IS
    49. You will beat out celebrities to the next batch of exotic and trending baby names. HOPE NOT
    50. They wouldn’t be caught dead in Crocs.  I HATE 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. MHHH MAYBE
    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. PROBABLY!

    ANYWAY I LOVE U

  8. something about this list presumes all aid workers are always from the west. if you’re an aid worker you’d kind of have to know we’re not all from europe/usa.

  9. It is very true and I agree with those numbers and facts! However, some people take advantage of your presence (good for both though) and fall in love and when the time to leave then kick you out and to your emotions….But if it is a real aid worker then they will not do that…..I do not know what I am saying here is right for people or not but I have been in development sector in and around the world and I know what it means!

  10. I think this is way better then 52 reasons NOT to date an aid work… I read it sitting in an airport heading back from Indonesia where I managed to find Free wi-fi in the airport… It made me laugh a lot, resulting in people thinking i am a crazy person!

  11. This is just the best. Ha! I agree, Brendan, except I haven’t managed to be able to do #21 yet somehow. (One of these days…) Especially liked #6 and #43 – so true.

    To add:
    – If you’re not feeling on top of your game or perhaps had one too many drinks, you can rely on your partner to be “street smart” for the both of you – aid workers are tough cookies.
    – You won’t have to worry about your lady’s frivolous spending on shoes – chances are they won’t have been in heels for years, and much rather prefer being barefoot.

    1. Prefer being barefoot? after 20 years of toe slippers you can’t even wriggle your feet into closed shoes… Hence high heel shoes and closed leather shoes keep ending up as extra weight in suitcase to be left for fungus to be grown on in some shoe shelf.

      And what about all these development workers that paired up with each other, I guess it is the whole list to the power of two?!

  12. Love it. A few more of these apply to me than the “why not” list, though I’m not sure they are all positives.

    Also… they know how to graciously accept hospitality, meaning you can avoid that awful “no, I insist” back and forth when someone offers to buy a round.

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