Sunday, January 18, 2009

Home Invasion

There has been a drought here in Kenya that many of you may have heard about. Kenya’s primary industries are tourism and agriculture, and both have been strained this year with the political unrest at the beginning of 2008 shutting down tourism, and then the drought that marked the end of the year. This combination of calamities has left many hungry, and this is a difficult year for the government to assist those who cannot eat with the lack of tourism revenue. The Kenyan government has recently asked for more than $400 million in aid to help feed its citizens. (I will withhold the political commentary for now on corrupt politicians continuing to take financial advantage of their political position, but simultaneously seeking outside aid to feed the nations poorest individuals.)

What is interesting are there are some surprising side effects that hard times (in particular a drought) can have on people. The missionaries here in Kijabe are relatively protected from these problems directly, as we are supported financially from abroad by and large. However, we have been counseled that our relatively safe community is more susceptible to crime during these hard economic times. Desperate times sometimes cause desperate actions.

I unfortunately experienced first hand how this drought can effect the harmonious balance of our community this afternoon. I was sitting in my bedroom, working on my computer, when I began to hear a bunch of noise and commotion. I thought perhaps some workers were moving some heavy furniture or appliance in the next door unit. But then I thought…today is Sunday, no one usually works on Sunday. That’s when I heard a very loud noise behind me. I got up, and opened the bedroom door and what I saw shocked me.
Three hungry thieves had snuck in through my window and were in my kitchen. I yelled at them to “get out of my house” which startled them, but I don’t think they spoke much English. Two of the robbers quickly scampered out of the window, but the third one was so frightened that he ran the wrong way and then got cornered in the living area.
Me and this guy clearly did not speak the same language, but it was obvious we had a problem. I just wanted him to leave, but he was so frightened that just stood in the corner of the apartment soiling himself. I guess it was not his fault that he felt trapped. I had closed all the windows and the doors to prevent his accomplices from returning, as I felt better dealing with one intruder versus three.
I decided to call for some back-up. I got on my mobile phone, and called some neighbors, and fortunately a medical student who lives downstairs was nearby. We came up with a plan. She would guard the door to make sure this fiend’s buddies did not return to help him, so I could concentrate on running him off. I left the door open with her just outside (armed with an umbrella just in case). I then went on the attack, but the little scared and hungry crook did not realize the door was open and ran for my bedroom instead leaving a trail of stool behind him. After 10 minutes, I finally got him to realize I was trying to run him off, and not catch him, so he ran out of the bed room and saw daylight at the door, before making a daring leap from my second floor balcony to a nearby tree.
I thanked the medical student for her help (she is from the same part of Texas as me, so she was quick to come to my aid when she realized I was being burglarized). I then set myself to the task of cleaning up the mess. There was poop all over the place not to mention the left over bits of fruit they had left behind (these guys were messy.)
I learned a valuable lesson today. When times are hard, you can’t be too careful about security. I don’t blame these guys for coming into my home. They were just hungry and this drought has clearly been a strain on them. I just know that it will be the last time I will keep my windows open with bananas on the countertop.

Yours in recovering from a monkey home invasion,

The thief did not slow down to pose for this picture

PS: I hope this story made you laugh. It is a true story. I really did have 3 monkeys come in through my kitchen window and eat my bananas. And one of the little guys really did panic and run all over my apartment pooping and cowering in corners. It was just a little reminder that I live in rural Africa now…not downtown Boston. Anyway, I needed a little levity today, and chasing a monkey all over my apartment with a medical student guarding my front door with an umbrella was certainly funny. However, cleaning up monkey poop was not nearly as funny.

It taught me to be independent and never expect a handout and never wait for anybody to hand you anything in any aspect of my life.
~Jesse James


At Sun Jan 18, 06:46:00 PM, Blogger Joanne Wilson said...

Yes, that made me laugh:) Thanks Chad, one more amazing adventure to add to the Kenya Chronicles:)

At Sun Feb 01, 11:18:00 PM, Blogger Sherry said...

That was hilarious.

At Fri Feb 13, 07:30:00 AM, Blogger Mr. Wilson said...

You know, I don't come by your blog too often because it makes me miss you more, but this was really funny. You got ran up on my some monkeys. Run the bananas son!

I just wished he had flung some poo on you all the while....

You know, I know how chaotic life can be in Kenya and I sometimes worry about you a bit. But then again, police are shooting unarmed black in front on their families at their own homes in highly affluent areas here, so its not like i can argue that i would be comfortable with you at home.

keep the faith, and no matter what you do don't forget










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