SALA ELISE PATTERSON
33, communications consultant, Tunis, Tunisia
WHY I WANTED TO LIVE ABROAD:
I've lived all over the world, but this time I decided to move for a job with the African Development Bank, which works on social and economic
advancement here. I provide communications support to the bank's Eastern African offices.
WHAT I MISS ABOUT HOME:
Family and friends. And also the relentless pursuit of innovation, the pushing of boundaries, the calling into question that I associate with Americans.
HOW THE EXPERIENCE HAS CHANGED ME:
Tunisia is a progressive Muslim society, but it still feels like the public domain is reserved first and foremost for men. I never realized how
important it is to feel comfortable and welcome as a woman, wherever I go.
Not only in Tunisia, but everywhere I've been, I am always amazed by how much the rest of the world knows about the U.S. and how little, on average, we know about
Trying to get my personal effects out of customs. On one 95-degree day, after meeting with three different officials, my husband and I sat down with yet another
one, who studied our four-page list of possessions and said, yawning, "Item one: plates. So, exactly what kind of plates?"
Going into a certain neighborhood café with my husband and discovering that the only women who do so are prostitutes.
If you'd ever heard Arabic spoken, you wouldn't have to ask.
HOW YOU CAN GET HERE:
Several international development organizations work in Tunisia, in addition to the African Development Bank (afdb.org
For listings on these types of jobs and others-from accounting to engineering-see findajobinafrica.com
. Or just visit: Americans can stay up to four
months without a visa.