Log 3:  Superstition…….

Log 3: Superstition…….

Prepping for a trip means putting your eggs in order and facing your fears…..

Like a dozen eggs lined up in two rows, prepping for this trip required me to think through my risk, to list and check off the TO DO’s, which on this specific journey have included updating my Last Document and Will, making sure my family have copies of my accounts, titles, and other personal records in case of any emergency.

Yes, I live in the Philippines. And, yes I am an expatriate. And yes these things have been done before. But because the past year I have been in the USA more than in past decades things are a bit different. First, I am physically leaving the USA (instead of leaving Asia) for my new short term assignment. Should anything happen to me, except for my attorney and business partner, no one is in the Philippines can handle my USA affairs better than my own USA based relatives. And this is where my story brings me to talking about superstitions.

I learned many years ago when working as an Executive Director for UNICEF that people are superstitious of putting documents in order. Many people are afraid to face the possibility of death . I discovered this fact when I planned to purchase and improve the benefit package for my employees: I included health and life insurance as a new benefit. I found out very quickly that 90% ——9/10 of my local Chinese staff refused to be included in this new plan. Why , because they believed that if they signed up for insurance, something awful would happen (by admitting to the possibility of death by holding a life insurance policy or admitting they might get sick by holding a health insurance policy), they believed this admission set them up for disaster. And, so my employees except for one said no to insurance and asked for extra cash payment (to spend however they wanted). It took three years before this team of people were accepting and convinced that life and health insurance were valuable. As a whole in the 1980’s and 1990’s many Hong Kong Chinese believed these superstitions.

And, in a kinda quirky way, by pure admission and follow up on updating my last testament and will, I feel this same trepidation. By doing this now, when going off to Ethiopia (physically closer in proximity to Ebola and ISIL) will something bad happen to me, too???? As ridiculous as this may seem to my blog audience, as I write these words I have experienced this fear these past recent days. And, I have wondered……. Am I doing the right thing leaving my mother and those I love ,not back to the security of Hong Kong or Singapore or Philippines , but to Africa near and close to the Middle East….

Funny, huh….
As educated and empowered as I am , I fret to say it’s been more than a passing thought as I embark on my next adventure ‘Back to Africa’.

Maybe I am not much different than my employees when I let fear invade my mind……Am I?

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