Years ago a sending organization researched why first-termers failed to return and become veteran PWs. They found some causes in the first-termers themselves but, sadly, they traced other causes to the veterans already on the field. Each field is very different. Personalities, chemistry, roles, pressures- they all combine to make the New Kid’s (Newks) experience a huge challenge. We have lived through it and heard others tell their stories. The bottom line: it is never easy, but it can be less difficult if we all help each other.
We were the new-kids-on-the-block twice, in very different situations. The first time, we joined a well-established team in a multifaceted indigenous work. Being completely new to living outside our own culture, we needed and appreciated the help we received from the veterans. It was not all positive, but overall, we made a good adjustment to cross cultural work.