Letter Re: Prepping for Missionaries and Other Long Term Foreign Workers

Dear Mr. Rawles,
I have been following the thread on “Prepping for Missionaries and Other Long Term Foreign Workers.”  My business partner and I have more than one hundred mission trips between us and have been first responders to several of the latest disasters including the Tsunami in Banda Aceh, Hurricane Dean in Jamaica, and the Earthquake in Haiti. Several of the writers and especially P.J.H. has been spot on in their information.  Problems in the mission field or for the foreign worker have a direct correlation to the lack of understanding for the culture of the country where they serve. It is acerbated by the export of U.S. culture the traveler brings and having an expectation that everywhere should act/be like the USA.  A number of great resources were identified in their post, but I see a gaping hole in what to do if the unthinkable happens. Did you know that according to the CDC: “Motor vehicle crashes—not crime or terrorism—are the number one killer of healthy US citizens traveling in foreign countries”.  Unfortunately, most US travelers and especially missionary and NGO employees travel and drive without the slightest though of their vehicle safety. They assume their host has adequately prepared their vehicle for safe travel.

In an number of countries where a driving fatality takes place, both parties can be arrested until a complete investigation takes place and we all know the speed of developing countries is slow and the investigation can take weeks.  Many of the hospitals in those same countries require payment prior to treating of the patient. In a recent situation we had a client that had injured themselves and needed treatment. The hospital in Central America refused to accept the insurance or the travel insurance supplement. They had to pay the hospital provider in cash to get service.