10 June 2013

Reviewing J's Missionary, Mercenary, Mystic, Misfit

Attempts to fictionalize humanitarian work have managed to fail on the level of garnering public interest and on the accuracy of living as an expat aid worker.

The Grey's Anatomy-goes-to-South-America failure better known as Off the Map lasted all of 13 episodes. The few aid workers that tuned in gleefully tweeted criticisms of the melodramatic plot and portrayal of aid work.

Anonymous aid worker J emerges as a person with long humanitarian experience using fiction to capture the frustrations and politics that make up aid work while telling a gripping story.

Missionary, Mercenary, Mystic, Misfit picks up with aid worker heroine Mary-Anne who left Haiti behind for her next assignment at the Dolo Ado refugee camp in Ethiopia. Her partner, Jean-Philippe, the object of her torrid affair in Haiti which drove the plot for the prior Disastrous Passion, is traveling around East Africa on a separate assignment.

The pair that fell so deeply in love in Haiti are under stress due to the physical distance and the pressures of the work on their lives. An experienced and older Oxfam aid worker named Jon Langstrom joins the cast as the new leading man and the potential love interest for Mary-Anne who finds herself pulled to this man who seemingly has his life together.

J's previous life was spent as a popular aid blogger at Tales From the Hood. In the year and a half since J hung up his blogging shoes, he launched a social media site for aid workers called Aid Source, co-produced the popular and irreverent Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like andwrote two humanitarian fiction novels.

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