CSI-Lilongwe

So this master thief used a car jack to pry apart the bars on the window, slid the glass planes out of the window (they're removable here!) and grabbed the computer which was out on the table because I had been trying to send e-mail that night. He sweetly left a whole hand-print on the wall when we reached over to unplug the computer, because the bars were so dirty. Not just a finger-print...the entire hand, fingerprint swirls visible to the naked eye! The police came by, interviewed everyone, informed us that they were unable to use the handprint, and suggested we rent out a spare room to a police officer to keep us safer (yeah, like that would make me feel better! Sometimes the police are worse than the criminals!!!!). And then they arrested our poor sleepy night-guard who said, "Officers, I know nothing. I was sound asleep!" At least he's honest. He probably doesn't even know what a computer is, how to use it, or how valuable it is on the black-market here, but they kept him in prison for 3 days (where his family had to bring him food since they don't feed you there!) "just in case". We finally asked the police to please release him since even they agreed he had not likely been the thief!

I was annoyed at all the work it's been to get a new phone and set everything up again, and grieved that all our photos since March were saved on the computer and not backed up yet. But what freaked me out is that the thieves came back again the next night!!! Our gardener-turned-guard while the other man was in prison saw them sneaking in and scared them away, but what kind of crazy thieves hit the same place twice in a row???? After that, we've 'borrowed' a very large, very black, very scary looking German Shepherd from a family who is leaving for the States for 6 months. He is much more intimidating than our little mutt puppy who was snuggling with the guard while the guys broke in! And we've had 2 guards on duty each night, and a welder is coming to reinforce all the bars so they can't be so easily pried open. But part of me is aware it's all just grasping at the illusion of control. The fact is, we are surrounded by people who routinely do not have enough to feed their family, and we stand out as rich. The kind of people that have insurance on their property so it won't really hurt us much. And they're right in some ways, aren't they?

But I also know it's not just because we're in Africa...no matter where we live, bad things can happen, and we can only do so much to prevent it. It's really all in God's hands. That's a scary truth to have to face, but it's not a bad thing to really come to grips with. We're slowly getting there, after a few sleepless nights and attempts to secure ourselves by locking every inside door too (to keep 'them' in only one room if they get in again). But really, when you have to unlock 3 doors to get to the pantry when all you want is a cup of peppermint tea to wind down after a long day, maybe you've gone too far! So the crime will go unsolved, we'll get our things replaced, and we'll get back into the swing of falling in love with Malawi. Just another week in life overseas!

Comments

  1. Wow- sounds like a scary adventure! You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

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