"Hello Missus: A Girl’s Own Guide to Foreign Affairs" by Lynne Minion. [review]
Dooley, Gillian Mary
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There is much in "Hello Missus", Lynne Minion’s memoir of her year in East Timor, that didn’t make it to Australian television screens, where the success and benevolence of the international assistance provided by the United Nations was never in any doubt. One surprise is that the foreigners – or "malae" – trying to rebuild the country aren’t universally loved. And on reflection this is not hard to understand. Many of the UN workers are ‘monstrously overpaid’, while the East Timorese are lucky to earn $1 a day. No wonder they feel some resentment and are less than co-operative with their benefactors. Then there is the little question of a huge gender imbalance: most of the foreign workers are men and the UN ‘had probably introduced HIV to East Timor and was certainly spreading it’. So much for foreign aid!