November 01, 2006

About Security

What follows is a string of statements made to me about what security is like here and what I should expect.

"Please maintain a high level of caution. When you arrive in country, please stay close to the Hotel until you can meet with the staff. Please do not walk around town, or even the neighborhood around your hotel."

"Nationality is not an issue. Chances of being kidnapped can be largely diminished by staying out of designated areas of Port au Prince and not meandering around town without caution."

"Visitors these days are confined to hotels at night unless escorted out by a staff member. Even with escort they must return by 10:00 pm. Weekend sorties must be approved. All staff, national and international, are strongly recommended to be home by 11:00. pm."

"Anyone visiting the country must strictly follow the security protocols and procedures without exception as their lives depend upon it."

"It makes no difference what nationality, or economic status, the person may be. People are being kidnapped in high numbers, on a daily basis, all over the capital, and they are local and foreigner, poor and rich."

"While the entire city is a concern, they are definite ‘no-go” areas of the city to be avoided at all cost."

The first thing I did after I got this email was to file for Danger Pay.

The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !


Emmanuel.K.Bensah II said...

Please keep safe!! We truly appreciate the manner in which you provide us with information from your travels, but please do be careful...;-) The poorest country in the Western hemisphere, replete with stories of voodoo, etc...this is the visceral response to hearing you're in Haiti.

Sad, sad, sad.

Gemma said...

CuĂ­date mucho!!!


Kingston Girl said...

I think danger pay is in order! How long are you there for? You could always escape to Dom Rep for the weekends...

Beaver said...

Emmanuel, Gemma, don't worry. One of the advantages of working for an international organization is that we are extremely protected (should I say over-protected?)

I've met several compatriots of mine who are in the Minustah - and they all say the situation is not different than it was 6 months ago when I was here last time. It's not impossible my boss is over-reacting a bit.

Nonetheless, I do what I'm told. Which means unfortunately, my posts in the next few weeks will be horribly boring since all I'm seeing in hotel-office-hotel-office.

indeed, it is. Although honestly, the money is really not worth having my freedom impended for 3 weeks. I even have to ASK FOR PERMISSION before I go out with my friends from the UN military police ! I feel like I'm back in grade 12.