Are Your Ready to be an Overseas Contractor?

Working overseas can make a lot of dreams come true. It is a career that has many advantages, but beware, there are some disadvantages. Overseas contracting is not for everyone.  Are you interested in working overseas?  Take the quiz below and see if it is right for you:

https://www.qzzr.com/c/quiz/393717/are-your-ready-to-be-an-overseas-contractor

 

                                  

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The “Racist Monkey” in Africa

After rummaging through the very, green pastures of the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara in Tanzania, Africa, I decided to plop down onto a beach chair, occasionally prancing to the shore to dip my “corn-ish hens” into the salty, crystal clear waters of the Zanzibar beach coast. However, before engaging in such relaxation, I wanted to cuddle baby tigers and chat with a cheetah over a cold glass of wine at the Cheetah’s Rock in Ngunwi. Not your normal way to relax, but that glass of wine temporarily relieved the implosive aggression that I held captivated under my skin. Crushing my lips together and attempting to refrain myself from displaying symptoms of the “angry black woman” syndrome, I could not be at peace with the words that spurred from the supposed animal trainer/owner, Jenny, earlier on during a presentation. You probably want to know, “What did she say? What did she say?” Well…not so fast! Let me walk you through it and see if your emotions stir in the same pot as mines.

Jenny was doing a great job. She had a ride that transported us to and from this safe haven for wild animals. Her accommodating staff greeted us with coconut drinks, while we waited for all of the paying participants to arrive. We later then started off with Chaka, the oh so lovely zebra. So far, I can tell that the animals were so well taken care of.  We got to chill with Chaka, and before we moved on to the next enclosure, Chaka and I were cool. I became a zebra whisperer. Don’t judge me. That’s how I felt. We exited the enclosure and headed to the next. My pride was seeping out of my pores, and I was almost sure that I was going to leave Cheetah’s Rock with having ridden Aslan’s back. Oh yea, Aslan is the great, white lion that was saved for a later encounter. We visited some of the other animals such as:  bush babies, lemurs, peacocks, hyenas, and others I will fail at trying to name at the moment. Soon after, we had the luxury of finally visiting the monkey. I think this monkey was one of the monkeys that had blue balls. What? No literally, in Tanzania there are little monkeys running around everywhere, and some of them literally have bright, blue male parts. I can’t remember if this monkey had them or not, but it looked like one of them.

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Now, that’s beside the point. I love monkeys. Especially, the small ones you can hold, but I later found that Manfred, the monkey, would NOT like to meet me because Manfred was a racist. Say what? I didn’t say that! That’s what Jenny said, while setting me ablaze with the fire in her eyes as she informed everyone loud and clear that Manfred was a racist, and if you are black with dark skin (such as myself) there is a strong chance that he would bite you. If you go inside, you go in at your own risk. Whoa…whoa…whoa…wait! What? An uncomfortable silence floated in the windless air. As adventurous as I am not, I was going to prove her wrong, so I went inside anyways…wishing a monkey would. She then went on as to why Manfred didn’t like “dark people”. He was supposedly kidnapped, abused, and almost starved to death by some locals trying to make a buck. She stated that these monkeys were usually captured to make money off of tourist who pay to snap pictures with monkeys, pet monkeys, or even get monkeys drunk at bars for entertainment. There are comments and reviews about her mention of her unwanted presence in Africa. Despite the lack of hospitality from the natives, she claimed to have left her native country willing to fight to keep these wild animals safe from these horrible people.

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This may all be true, although, I can honestly say that the whole time I was there, I have never witnessed such accusations, and none of the other visitors agreed to see such claims. You know what? I’m lying. There was a boy with a small iguana, and I am guilty by accomplice of a monetary transaction for a photo. Anyways, it wasn’t enough to settle my soul. From what I saw, about 98% of the staff at Cheetah’s rock were Africans, and Cheetah’s Rock is in Africa. Her rationalization was that two other black people were bitten by Manfred, so I guess that was careful observation to make such claim. Well, long story short, I was never bitten. In fact, he ate a piece of food off of my leg and went about his merry business. Unlike humans, Manfred took that day off from being a racist, because he probably later learned how stressful it can be. Maybe he just needed a break from it, or maybe he felt the effects of being stereotyped and felt like a hypocrite. After all, Manfred was a female. They later found out that Manfred was a she after being brought there. By then they got used to calling her that, and never bothered to change her name, said the expert animal trainer herself.

 

7 Things to Know Before Traveling Overseas for the First Time

Traveling can be a dreamlike experience or travel can be a nightmare.  It all depends on how well you plan. So many things can go wrong such as:  getting bit by a monkey with horns, going to jail for chewing peppermint gum, unknowingly joining a cult by engaging in a simple hand shake, getting a nice, clean shave with an ax, or many other countless aggravations or absurdities that can ruin your whole travel experience. Traveling right is the only way you should want to travel outside of the country you reside. There are steps to take to avoid disappointment when traveling abroad.

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  1. PASSPORT OR DIE!

Having a physical passport in your hand is the most important thing that can make or break your plans. You can have a full trip planned and paid for and end up wasting all of your time and money, just because your passport did not arrive on time. There are expedited services that can possibly get your passport to you within days, but why place your trip in jeopardy over procrastination? You can’t go wrong with going through your local or state government agencies (i.e. post office, embassies, credible travel agencies, etc.) to apply for your passport. Each country has it’s own requirements that should be strictly followed.

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2. VISA, the credit you can’t buy

What is worst than finally landing in the country you are visiting after a long, rather uncomfortable flight, with passport in hand, ready to get your first stamp, to only be soon surrounded by officers ready to ship you back to wherever you came from and do so without a blink? This can happen, if you don’t have a visa upon entering a country that requires it, and most times you may not even make it past the check-in counter.

U.S. and European citizens can pretty much go to a lot of places that won’t require a visa, but just because you are American or European does not mean that you are exempt from ALL countries. There are some countries that do require a visa upon entry. Some countries may offer visas on arrival, but don’t always expect that privilege as a U.S. or European citizen.  Visa requirements should also be taken very seriously, as they can change.  If the requirements are:  at least three recent selfies, 500 bucks in pennies, proof of a hater vaccination, string cheese,  and a shot of rum, you better make sure you get on it!

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3. THIS AIN’T IT!

Know where you are going! Have you ever saw a flyer for an event that sounded like the place to be, to only later find out that that “place to be” is no longer where you want to be?  The same thing goes for traveling. Although, I do encourage taking chances and going to places where media lens tend to shy away, I also want to emphasize the importance of research. DON’T strictly abide by what the media tells you about places. The joy in traveling is seeing for yourself that half the time, the media is wrong.  Information is at your finger tips. Visit directories and read reviews. Join travel groups and see what people are saying and where they are going, and talk to people who has visited the places or are from the places that you want to go.

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4. Remember “YOU” are the foreigner

Remember when traveling abroad that YOU are the foreigner and will get treated as such. This may be a good or bad thing, considering which region of the world map you represent. Stereotypes play a big role in countries with a low concentration of tourism and that is okay, but it may be annoying or offensive to you on your first few encounters. You may get stared at like you have three legs, pictures of you may be taken with or without your consent, and people may want to touch your skin,hair, or any physical characteristic on you that makes you different than they are. Don’t panic. Don’t be offended. A lot of the time these people have never left their back yards and are only used to seeing people who look like you on their television screens. They are usually more curious and excited than they are angry or afraid of your presence.

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5. When not in Rome, DON’T do as the Romans do!

Your expectations should be at a very minimum when you travel into another country. Things that are valued in your country may not be valued elsewhere. You may go to a restaurant and get served a fresh, warm glass of water with one ice cube in it, or better yet, no ice at all. You will find that ice may be a luxury in many other countries and will notice that many countries don’t honor the free refill privileges on fountain beverages like the “most generous USA”.

Learn the culture before you go. See what is acceptable and what is not. Learn the etiquette, the dress code (yes some places have dress codes, especially for women), the language, and etc. Small things, such as tipping a waiter, may be deemed offensive in some countries. You can go to jail or deported for kissing in public in others.  Obnoxious and/or boisterous behavior may be a form of disrespect in some cultures. Keep a low profile. Dress down. No flashy jewelry or flashy clothing to draw attention to yourself.

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6. Cash is not money when worn!

You will find that the U.S. currency is favored in some countries. As a matter of fact, it may be so favored that you dare not attempt to spend a dollar bill with a small tear on it…because 2 times out of 3, they will NOT accept it.  Yes! Even if you have a hundred dollar bill, and you are ready to shop your little heart out. Know that if that hundred dollar bill is wrinkle, stained, soiled, torn, or even dated back a few years, they will look at it, as if it is trash that you are trying to pay them with.  When using U.S. currency, make sure you have new and crisp bills, or you can simply exchange your country’s cash for that visiting country’s currency, and make your life a whole lot easier.

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7. “Do you speak-a-de-English?”

Lastly, don’t assume that everyone speaks English. Although, there are a lot of countries where English may be a second language, don’t automatically assume that people know or care to speak it. Attempt to speak their language first when communicating. This may be another insult to some, and you will be brushed off or ignored when you are seeking assistance or guidance.  Help seems to come a lot easier when your respect is shown and given.