“Take another fucking picture! I will take my rifle and blow your head off white bitch!” yelled the Haitian man, dropping his shovel in frustration at the USAID cash-for-work program site on the slopes of Kafou Fey. The assembly line of Haitian workers in bright-yellow shirts and white hard helmets heaving rubble up the sun-scorched, dusty slopes overlooking Port-au-Prince came to an abrupt halt.
We finally arrived at a high, metal red gate surrounded by concrete where two Haitian security guards opened the gates to the compound of a neocolonial mansion. After pointing to dozens of boxes of condom donations stacked on the ground floor, I was escorted to my fire-ant infested, tent space.
It seemed odd for the troops passing by in the midst of an official operation to notice me chatting up the Haitian taxi drivers at a gas station. I sensed that not only did they they envy my freedom to maneuver around the landscape without any prescribed rules of conduct but that my mere existence challenged the necessity for their official operation. Equipped for war, they looked silly and they knew it.