Saturday, September 25, 2010
One month down, one to go
As of September 24th, I have been at my position for one month. I am funded for 1 more month, though I think that it might be possible to extend the funding and appointment. Overall, I have enjoyed both my job and my life in this country. The job market back at home is not exactly beckoning with possibilities, so it is entirely possible that The Escape Archivist will continue to find work abroad. I have received many emails regarding my "escapes" and how to create them. My general advice for finding work abroad is to RESEARCH, RESEARCH and do more RESEARCH. If you are a librarian, doing complete and thorough research should be a natural reflex, though it surprises me how many terrible researchers I have met in library school and in practice at various New York library reference desks. Of course it also helps to be able to read (even better to speak AND read) foreign languages. I can read 7, which I guess helps increase my job possibilities. Moreover, be openminded about foreign cultures. Not everywhere is America, and not everybody speaks or understands English. And sadly, there are plenty of people who will judge you harshly at the outset simply for being American. It is your job as the expat to be respectful of your host culture and to go with the native flow (it´s MUCH harder if you try and impose your standards to the ones in your host country) and just.be.cool. I´m currently funded by the US Embassy, and I take that fact seriously. While some Bolivians may dislike certain American international policies, they are open to respecting our personal and cultural contributions to their country. Likewise, I love learning more about their rich culture and history.