Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Trouble in River City

Just when I was getting used to life in a Haitian village, things get weird again. Yesterday, I was driving up our "road" and noticed a police truck coming up quickly behind me. I wondered if I was being hunted down after our "get hit and run" accident last Saturday. As the truck got closer, I realized it was a UN police vehicle. When I turned into the mission, they continued on up the road - so I figured they weren't here for us, and that was probably a good thing. As I got busy with the business of the day again, I kind of forgot about that little bit of excitement. That is, until right after lunch-time. I heard all kinds of excitement coming from outside near the gate, my 2-way radio started blaring, and our gateman was knocking excitedly at our door. I was sure it was some sort of a raid (maybe it's all the super-secret government spy shows we've been watching lately).

As it turns out, Oxone Armand (Mme Bozor's father), is part of some neighborhood watch-type program in the area and has connections with the police department now. He invited the "Commissaire" of police to visit his village for a tour and a meal at his house. Being Haitian, the Commish brought fifteen other guys with him...and hitched a ride from someone else - the UN.

The Commish isn't missing any meals, as you can see, and was especially grateful for the gift he received: a bottle of Watson's Whisky. I of course accepted the lunch invitation - I couldn't pass up the photo opportunity, and I also found the whole thing very entertaining. Commish was very nice and assured me that if we ever have trouble, he will watch out for us. Reassuring? I'm not sure. My Whisky supply is dreadfully low, so I'm not sure if we could meet his asking price for services. He also told me that we should have a gun - I wish I hadn't told him that we do not. If we did have a gun, I still probably wouldnt use it like this:

No bottle opener? No problem.This is a perfect example of my favorite part of Haitian living: Degaje...Make It Work. After a quick meal and some misuse of firearms, our visitors sped away with a crowd of La Digue-ians watching and waving behind them. This was quite an event in our little village, and I have to admit, I got caught up in the excitement too.

-Troy Posted by Picasa