When Safety Comes First

danger-2-50398103..When I lived in Guatemala City, military helicopters landed on my street one afternoon. On another day, two cops were shot dead just down the block from my house. In October, students protested for a week by firebombing buses, causing businesses to shut-down. When things got really bad, the embassy evacuated and that was my signal to leave the capital. I headed for the Caribbean coast of Guatemala, Livingston. Surprisingly, people in Livingston had no idea anything of consequence was happening in the capital.

..In Pakistan, I learned a friend who lived in Karachi never went grocery shopping without a school-supplied bodyguard. In Lahore where I lived, it was the opposite. Things were calm around the clock. At least until 9/11, and even then I felt no impending threat.

I think we’ll all agree that just because one area of a country goes off-kilter, it’s more than likely other areas will be safe and sane, at least relatively so. Were travel advisories issued for the whole of California during the Los Angeles riots?

ISR readers recently wrote:

I’m wondering about safety. Not petty crime (which you can find in any large city in one form or another), but safety as in “you have an actual chance of getting killed”. I suppose with the recent events such as those in Kenya and Nigeria it is important to evaluate this. So, off the top of your head, what are some places international teachers should probably avoid due to safety?

Keep in mind that I’m talking about “you might get killed” safety, and not “you might get mugged” safety, which happens in my hometown in the US all the time.

Is Egypt safe? What about countries like Bahrain? Bangladesh? Which countries in Middle East can be dubbed as “safe”? Which African nations are safe? What about Asia? Latin America?

..It could be possible for an entire country to be unsafe for foreigners, but I’ve yet to visit one. Before relocating to Kinshasa in the D. R. Congo, friends and family conjured up visions of Rwanda. Everyone warned me of the dangers to which I would be subjecting myself. Kinshasa turned out to be a wonderful experience, except for the school director, but that’s a different story.

..Given that entire countries or continents don’t normally drop into chaos, we invite ISR readers to take advantage of our When Safety Comes First Blog to ask questions and share information related to safety at various International School locations around the globe. Stay safe!

International Educators Keeping Each Other
Informed is what ISR is All About!