International Relations: “Civ/Mil”

17 Feb

For a long time I never really understood the “I just loooooooove a man in uniform” thing that some of my female aid-worker friends are on about all the time.  (ahem – un-named friends in Jordan and working at the US State Dept…)

I remember in Kosovo, summer of 1999, all the women on my team had the K-FOR zones mapped out according to where the hot troops were. They’d argue every morning about who’d get to go do “monitoring” in the Swedish K-FOR zone that day. This is not an exaggeration: the country director eventually kept the field schedule on a white board, where he’d make sure that field trips to Swedish K-FOR controlled territory were equitably divvied up.

And I didn’t get it.

Until I got sent to a French K-FOR zone. Where I had to climb out of the white Landcruiser to get patted down by little miss “Isabelle”, who was wearing camouflage fatigues and combat boots and had a FAMAS rifle slung over her shoulder.

Yeah baby…

* * *

Here in Port-au-Prince, I hear my female colleagues talking about doing distributions in the Brazilian zone (how original). Or maybe Argentinian (what-ev…).

But what about me, I can hear you all ask?

I was personally encouraged to see that the Philippines was deploying troops to Haiti. But thus far I haven’t encountered Filipinas in uniform.

The unexpected bonus, though, would be the Nepali female MINUSTAH troops. There’s a daily distribution I walk past in Petion-Ville where the Nepalis provide security.

Makes me want to say “namaste” and practice my head wobble…

9 Responses to “International Relations: “Civ/Mil””

  1. cynan_sez 17 February, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    you see! did I not say it was all about the french!

    • J. 19 February, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

      You totally called it, man – though for the record, our loggies are mostly Americans…

  2. Texas in Africa 17 February, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    There ARE a lot of hot peacekeepers in KFOR, even as of a couple of years ago. MONUC, not so much.

  3. Amelia 19 February, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Oh, the Brazilians really are hot, the only thing that cheered up my stint in the traffic jam near the UN logbase today.

  4. Linda (@meowtree) 20 February, 2010 at 4:44 am #

    I don’t know. After a decade in El Salvador, I’m terrified of clean cut men in uniforms with guns. Those scruffy rebel fighter types though, now that’s whole different story…


  1. Conflict And Health Roundup — Conflict Health - 25 February, 2010

    […] Civil-Military relations in Haiti, from the ground. […]

  2. Changes upon changes « Tales From the Hood - 11 March, 2010

    […] our office – I hope those people are still getting enough to eat (plus I kinda miss seeing the female Nepali MINUSTAH troops… […]

  3. Haiti revisited « Tales From the Hood - 21 May, 2011

    […] Civ/Mil – I do miss seeing Nepali MINUSTAH… […]

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