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Shattered city government in quake-ravaged Port-au-Prince in need of help itself
"Don't push me," Rousseau says. "Don't pressure me. Let me operate."
Rousseau finishes his report but decides he wants to write a neater version, further delaying and frustrating Laurole. The engineer rewrites the entire page-long report. Satisfied with the aesthetics, he delivers the same verdict: The building is unsafe.
Laurole pivots, changing the meeting place to a borrowed room in the national government's Culture Ministry, on the opposite end of the park.
The next morning, he arrives 15 minutes early, turned out in a pressed dress shirt and slacks. A dozen city employees are waiting for him on a street median befouled by human waste -- none of them is a top official.
They scream when they see Laurole. "We haven't been paid in a month!" Primrose Delva, a 53-year-old street sweeper, screeches.
Laurole pauses to hear their complaints, then disentangles himself and marches toward the Culture Ministry's gate. A guard appears. Laurole pushes his identification card against the metal railing. He pleads. He waves his arms.
The guard is unmoved. Laurole cannot enter. No meeting today.