11 janvye 2010
“Now he told me that there was digging that reached the coast at this point here.” And Dr. Kenold pointed to a region north of the city.
For Jules part she added in: “ in hospital north of the city – number 20 – there was an annex, but all of the people in the Annex and different illnesses – but I never saw anyone moved to the main building. Which is very odd, because if it were an annex – you would think that more people would be going in and out of the main building. But only doctors and nurses went in and out – no patients did.”
“What does that mean? Though I have a suspicion, spell it out for me.” A concerned look crossed his face.
It means that a large number of people were, excuse the expression, warehoused, at once. And they were from the same infection. It is as if they had taken everyone around them that were injured all at once. Which is means that there was a large infection, and they hurried everyone in that had been involved. Normally even infections of a particular sort happened over and over again. As you know much of Haiti is not very clean. And what is more, I saw a great deal of UN trucks, for more than would have otherwise seen.”
“Are you suggesting that the UN knew.”
“Under normal circumstances that would be dismissed from the brain. But the UN sent someone in, when normally there normal people could do what needed to be done.”
“Even sending it someone like yourself to grease the wheels?”
“My involvement is rather typical. What is not typical is that a UN should need my assistance – though many other foreigners might. MSF has me running around – to stem the flow of medications to – show we say non-medicated parts.”
“You mean gangs.”
“Anyone who is local, including domestic corporations. You never know when might need some medication. I am told by my foreign doctors that Haiti is one of the worst countries for infection – especially one that is on an island.”
There was going to be more conversation but then the UN diplomat came in to Dr. Kenold's office, it was 9 o'clock in the morning. Precisely, 9 o'clock. Only Swiss and German were ahead of this.
Hair, the hair was completely immaculate. It is not fair thought Jules a woman would have to spend at least an hour to do that, he probably spends a few minutes and then shakes it out and then he is done.
To make it more obvious that he was awake for some time, the UN director spoke, in a way which was different from the last time: “ hopefully I am not interrupting anything. But, we should get going on my project, because the sooner that the directors can extract me from Haiti, the better.”
Coming around the desk, Dr. Kenold had a look of determination – as if the presence was not going to distract him from what he had learned over the weekend. His shoes were steady, and the people beneath could hear him tromping – which was a bad sign, because it meant he was not amused. It might be guest by the reader that Dr. Kenold had a reputation which preceded himself among the other public servants. It was not a bad reputation – exactly, but it was a determination to do his job. This was not the case with most public servants.
“You will have to answer some questions that came up on a review of your situation. Can we get started?” there was a change of voice, no longer was it weak, and all traces of effeminacy were gone. This came as a shock to the UN diplomat, because he expected that he was being given over to a person who would, effectively, rubber stamp things. He was not sure that he liked this new power from the Haitian public servant.
Voice did not show this, and his manner showed it only in little ways: “What are your questions?” He did not have the forcefulness to aid anything – which he normally would. It was the gaps that his trepidations showed. But only people who knew him – of which there were none present – or who could have guessed – which was the case with Jules. Her face drilled in on his white bearded face, and seemed as if it burned. Because at that moment, he looked at Jules and Dr. Kenold alternately, each one of them having a different face, but a piece which was accusing.
Interrogation went on for at least an hour, and with each dénouement – the willpower was cracking. Laboissonnniere was not use to this, and several times but that he should just walk out, and take his case back to Alix, complaining how the people he had selected were no good for him. But instead he stayed answering questions, which amounted to an admission that the UN knew something was wrong.
The admission hit: the UN knew it was cholera – and they had introduced it. It was a metaphysical bomb – the UN would never admit this publicly.
A chasm, a deep dark chasm, moaning under their feet – as if it were aqueous and filled with fish from the sea – that each one of them felt in a similar way. Each one of them felt like a child in a darkened place, where they would hide from their parents, and cried for some transgression that they had committed. Looking at their faces showed that they reacted differently to there emotional distress – and that was the difference. The white haired man was slumped over the railing, drenched in sweat, and loose in his arms and limbs. The doctor of architecture instead was hunched up almost to the point of outstretched precision – he was on the balls of his feet – and that transmitted all the way up to a quiet rage upon his face. However – both were in some kind of dejected ecstatic frenzy of rage – and were in some personal state of mind, almost with no notion of anyone else.
But stretched out and comfortable was Jules – it was clear that she had a different vision of confinement, instead of some form of terror that she imposed on herself – there was a kind of looseness and calm on her face. She could see to people, each one of them drained and without really seeing the other. She watched back and forth, and decided what was the next move that she could make – because neither of the other two could even utter a word.
“So what are we going to do? The secret is not out, because only to members of the government – and I count myself informally as one – really know, and we do not have to tell our superiors. On the other hand, we must do something for the people who are stricken with the disease, and make preparations for removing the source. We have to do something once, not stand around and embarrass ourselves by how we got ourselves into this – after all none of us actually did the deed, and the people who were stricken consumed the water without testing it, or even knowing how to test it.”
There was a resolute nature to her – call it what it is – speech verging on diatribe. While she did this both of the men listened and changed their stance to one of intent listening. The two men were hanging on every word, and Jules was there leader.
In the daze, dim finding of things remembered - à la recherche du temps perdu , the white haired man remembered that once he would be telling people to look forward, and to be mindful of what could be done – rather than wallowing in the past. It should be he who made the speech, in that mind's eye of him being the center of attention. He wondered if he was getting too old – because his dossier had many times where he encapsulated the calm before the center of the storm.
Fractalwise the clock, as if the seconds did not move in a particular pattern – but instead each one set its own course through the now and into then. Both of the men bought that Jules would be the next to speak, and were intently listening for her voice to start. At long last she did:
“We must have a plan, that will deliver the supplies to the right people – and not let anyone else know that it has happened at all.”
Hesitation consumed the room – but it was that visitation of a group, not an individual - but at last the UN diplomat said: “On my part the problem is that the rest of the staff should not be notified, even alone them to suspect that domestic organizations had been known would be quite forbidden by the secret rules that are in place. Because, the higher representatives sent people who could be trusted with immense secrets.”
It was then that the doctor looked at the UN diplomat, and studied his face more intently than before – and last he saw the real profession. The UN diplomat was a spy, taking on the more difficult assignments – ones that very few would recognize. He wondered why the white haired man cried, because this was not the most difficult operation that he had performed. He had heard of such dealings with foreign governments and foreign NGOs, but had never participate in them. He had worked with Palais National and with others. But there was a difference between working with foreigners rather than dealing with domestics. He listened more to Jules: “That should be obvious to all of us, but thank you for reminding the delicacy of the situation with the United Nations. We also have to not mention this with Alix, because he will have guessed many things, but confirming them is out of the question.”
“What exactly does Alix do? His roll seems to be vague, in the extreme.” The doctor was the one who questioned.
“He actually has a nominal job, but it pays enough to park once car outside; thus he spends his majority of time working out which people need help, and which people who can help need a bit of money. This job is of course informal but vital. He also warns the informal about the formal directives which are coming down – especial on the topic of religion. The in a fine line to be tread there – Occasionally the Christian churches dislike the identification of Saints with the immovable powers. Especially the Roman catholic.”
The UN diplomat asked: “ I would say not! So how do we divide the responsibilities, without letting any of the directors, managers, and particulars of no name become involved?” he noticed that Jules had something to say on his expression, but did not utter it.
“It is obvious that the doctor should file notices on the digging, while it is not his area of expertise, it is close enough so that anyone looking at it would see just ordinary graft. Nothing to ask questions of, except for someone who needed a bribe.”
“And what will you do, Jules?” the UN diplomat want to be sure that Jules was involved.
“It is obvious that a variety of people need to look the other way. How much do you actually need for distribution, and how much can be given away.”
“Well all would be for distribution, but one suspects that is not going to be the case.”
“In Haiti, some must be reserved for bribes, whatever their name is in the ledger. And I am sure you know this.”
“We can move 20% of what is available for handling fees.” obviously this was the definition of the word “ bribe” in this particular context.
At this point the doctor spoke: “Where do we need the cholera emergencies, because that will have to be also taken in to account, and forms need to be written and submitted.” Then the doctor spun around and went to look out the window, spreading the drapes to look at the myriad of buildings – from homes to businesses, to businesses that looked like homes but had too much construction near them. The buildings that were homes washed in pastels against the dark green palms. Then he returned to his desk and grabbed a large map of Port-au-Prince.
“Where else is there cholera, maps might have to be procured of the particular areas. Especially of the men who take bribes in the area.”
The UN diplomat was surprised: “You keep such records?”
“While it is labeled as such, yes we keep records on who we have to do business with. The moment of unity under Aristides is over, and now there are dozens of factions competing even for senators, let alone for the Chamber of Deputies. We would not get anything done – and we get little enough – without keeping tabs of who controls the various roads, even blocks, of territory.”
And so the 3 of them managed to find resolution on what should the done. Jules new that she would have to contact someone to do this, and she knew which one she would select.
Jon le Bon. Because she felt certain that he was capable of finding who really controlled, and would “persuade” them to look the other way.
Normally they would break for 2 hours, because the heat of the day commanded that they rest. But not today.If they were a myriad of sweat before, they were coded with it now. They allowed the fan from the ceiling to drive them off for an hour. The fan ran faster and slower, but none cared. It was at least something of a breeze.
Then the UN diplomat left, and then Jules left. It was just before 18:00.