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Haitian Winter, Part 5: Saturday Morning Kaleidoscope: JFK, Tourist Troopers and the Road to Truttier

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On February 4th independent journalist Georgianne Nienaber and I flew into Haiti for a five day whirlwind investigative tour facilitated by our driver and "fixer", Andre Paultre, a journalist's best friend in Haiti. This is the fifth piece in my series, "Haitian Winter".

For Part One of this series, CLICK HERE
For Part Two of this series, CLICK HERE
For Part Three of this series, CLICK HERE
For Part Four of this series, CLICK HERE

*********

I'm backtracking from Part Four of this series, the stop at Fort Dimanche, to the beginning of our trek on Saturday morning, February 5th, to catch up on the photo record for the day. We stopped once again at the "White House", Haitian slang for the earthquake-wrecked National Palace across from the giant Champs de Mars IDP camp, our having stopped here as well on Friday evening. But now it was early morning and there was a freshness in the air as I stare at the tent city's Haitian flag fluttering in the breeze across from me:

The camp houses thousands within earshot of what used to be the heart of the Haitian government:


Speaking of which, here is the Presidential Palace again, right behind me:


Now for an ironic moment. Yesterday I was taking shots of omnipresent MINUSTAH, the UN security force occupying Haiti, on patrol all over Port-au-Prince. Well, they have just arrived again, an entire busload full! What the Hell is going on?


Are they about to launch a raid on the Champ de Mars camp?
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Well, they WERE here to shoot up the neighborhood, but not in the sense you might think I mean. Look at this UN soldier's left hand:


Yes, instead of tourists taking pictures of them, they were here to reverse the tables today, Saturday. They are all from foreign countries, and they all want mementos of their deployments.

even though they still have to dress as hard-ass storm-troopers.


Yep, they were hear to play tourist themselves, posing with each other against the backdrop of the White House. They even asked me to pose with a few of them. I didn't bother to ask them to send me a copy though.


Meanwhile, life is stirring in downtown Port-au-Prince,
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even though the place, and the Palace, are still a wreck.


*********

And now we are back in the Toyota 4Runner,

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I am a student of history, religion, exoteric and esoteric, the Humanities in general and a tempered advocate for the ultimate manifestation of peace, justice and the unity of humankind through self-realization and mutual respect, although I am not (more...)
 

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