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cincol

Is there a need for a Local Reviewer?

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During a recent discussion amongst a couple of local cachers the topic of reviewers came up and we wondered if the time was right that the Middle East [aka Arabian Peninsular] got its own reviewer? Please don't get me wrong on this one. Erik does a sterling job of reviewing our caches - with the help of others when necessary - but perhaps it is time, with the growth of the sport in our area, that we enter the world of the "big boys" and get our own reviewer! :P:ph34r:

 

As of today's date the GCC States alone have no less than 1273 active caches!! Way to go guys - we are alive and well here in the ME!! B)

 

Any thoughts on this anyone?

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I Agree with you Cincol, Erik has done a great job, But there are specific areas in the UAE and middle east which can be classed as sensitive and caches should not be placed near them (ie oil pipelines). And thus this is where local knowledge is vital.

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When geocaching started on the Peninsula our reviewer simply didn’t understand the environment. So many decisions went against the cache setters it looked as if the activity was bound to fail. Then along came Eric who was prepared to listen, argue his position and explain his decisions and the activity took off. Since then he has been proactive, on the ball, attentive, and not put a foot wrong. I have dealt with many reviewers and there are some real horrors out there. I understand the argument that a local reviewer brings benefits but whoever was selected, and the choice does not involve local players, is unlikely to be as good as Eric. Not only has Eric earned the right to continue for as long as he wishes we would be very lucky indeed to be served by someone as dedicated and competent as he. Let us be thankful we have Eric and not propose an action we may later regret.

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Totally agree with you Peter. The Middle East is a changing cauldron with a multi cultrual divercity that needs local knowledge of tollerances and social norms im an ever changing enviroment.

Something that is only evident if you have lived in the region for a period of time and is not evident by viewing a one dimentional map.

 

Having been escourted off bombing ranges by the military and thankfull for my oilfield pass on other occasions I can personally vouch for areas that do not appear on any maps

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The US based reviewers have done a great job - the 2 servicing the region are really great. I have had excellent service from both of them - Erik in particular is amazing. But there have been a few caches that really would have benefitted from a better understanding of local knowledge of conditions. So I'd support a local reviewer, but probably working in conjunction with Erik (as so many reviewers do glabally having more than one for a region).

 

I would also propose that the reviewer looks beyond just GCC - or even the Arabian Peninsula - but inclue the Maghreb states (North Africa, Lebanon and Jordan).

 

Good luck and I believe that the Middle East is now a thriving and asustained geocaching region, and as such could look towards more local involvement from the participants. This can only strengthen the hobby - especially while keeping the knowledge learned from the senior reviewers already present.

 

I'd give my support to this endevour.

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No question Erik & Crow T Robot have done a wonderful job with no delays.. please do not get the impression that we are not appreciative of their work.

 

The point cincol is raising however is a valid point. Local cachers, especially ones with a ton of caching experience, do have a better "angle off view" at the location of a cache. Just couple of months ago I sought a cache in Kuwait only to find out that it was on a restricted zone! not to mention that it was clearly mentioned by the cache owner that it was NOT on a restricted area! The cache owner was not even a resident of Kuwait!

 

I support cincol's suggestion and moreover I nominate him to be a local reviewer, if he didn't mind. Peter has been around for a long time and has hid tons of great caches and he knows the rules of the game. Besides, it's a difficult task that consumes time.. not a privilege.

 

I have checked the page on how to become a reviewer and it seems that GC.com would contact whom they see a good candidate.

 

Again, I would like to thank Erik and Crow T Robot for their continued commitment and great work.

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What if an existing reviewer were to be residing in the area?

 

An existing reviewer residing in the area would be awesome. Local knowledge and understanding of the way that social norms work in the Gulf is so important here.

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Aside from the issue of unmarked military zones, restricted areas, pipelines and unmarked private property, there are also the sociological issues that a reviewer who has never been here can not grasp.

 

For instance, as we recently experienced in the cache "Evergreen", the cache was placed in an area that would from a map view seem perfect to the reviewer, however as any cacher from the area would know, the entire area is combed over on a daily basis by cleaning crews who would destroy the cache without thought (in this case causing the loss of a geocoin in the process), the cleaners can not be reasoned with or told about the cache either as there are language barriers as well and the worker's fear of deportation for a minor slight ( which is a consistent issue in this country). How would a reviewer with no experience of the area know this?

 

If one were to look at the issues raised by the "End of civilization" cache, the cache was covered within days by the ever moving sands of the desert, meaning that since placement, it has been found twice, to a reviewer the cache seemed fine, but to anybody who has dealt with these sands know, placing a cache under a rock on the desert is not a fully viable hide.

 

I do not in anyway say that Erik is not a good reviewer, I believe that he is doing the best he can, however there would be much greater advantages I feel of a reviewer who has dealt with this area first hand.

Edited by Rumjack

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What if an existing reviewer were to be residing in the area?

 

Indeed Moose Mob - that is what we "locals" advocate. The game is growing very nicely here and we are encouraging new players all the time. As people start playing so they realize that the thrill of setting caches is just as great as that of finding. By having a reviewer who has intimate local knowledge would go a long way to addressing some of the issues mentioned so far in this thread, as well as others not mentioned. Of the 7 GCC States I have had the honour of caching in Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Oman and Jordan. Although there are many similarities in these countries the physical, social and economic situations vary hugely. With all due respect to the current reviewers, who have given us superb service to date, perhaps the time has come that the Arabian Peninsular / GCC / MENA - whatever the region might be called - stand up and be accepted by the "pack" as being a dog now and no longer a puppy! :P;)

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