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.
* * *
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…