J. is on a mission: to prove to the world that there’s a market for “humanitarian aid fiction”. As a highly experienced aid worker and prolific blogger (latterly at AidSpeak, formerly at Tales from the hood and one half of the team behind popular satirical aid blog, Stuff Expat Aid Workers’ Like (SEAWL), if anyone has the credentials to make this work, it should be J. But with his latest effort to bring the genre to life, Missionary, Mercenary, Mystic, Misfit, he doesn’t quite hit the mark.
The story centres on a refugee camp just inside Ethiopia’s border with Somalia – Dolo Ado. Or to be more precise, it centres on two American inhabitants of Dolo Ado – Jon and Mary-Anne, employees of Oxfam America and the fictional World Aid Corps respectively. Each lives apart from their partner, leaving space for a will-they-won’t-they relationship to emerge between them. Continue reading