A previous article in this series points out the irony of the over-privileged lives of expatriate humanitarian workers. I would argue that privilege is unavoidable. Even with this particular charity, where expatriate salaries were relatively low and we lived in mud huts with grass roofs, our conditions were unbelievably privileged compared with the local population. Despite this, many of us, myself included, teetered on the brink of burnout. Some cut their contracts short, while I was only saved by some well-timed R&R on a beach in Cameroon.
It makes no sense to endure unnecessary hardship if it can lead to ill health and exhaustion. The communities we are working with might be impressed by our drive and commitment but I imagine they would prefer that we have the mental and physical strength to provide them with essential services of the best possible quality.
Same argument Brezhnev used to ensure that his meant came from a named species.
Since I am running the country, for your benefit you understand, I should have the best.