The World Around Us

Robbed in Maputo

Country: Mozambique by Lisette

22-06-2013

HomeInvasion_ImageSo much happened and we’ve been in so many places since the last blog I posted, that it’ll take me a little while to catch up. But I will do my best.

Marlowe and I had some real bad luck in the last few weeks we were in Maputo. Two days before our fourth anniversary, we got robbed – yes, again! – in Mozambique’s capital. This time, it was not on the streets after midnight during a bout of feeling unjustifiably safe. This time, it wasn’t a purse snatched by a poor soul who probably had not eaten for a day or longer.

This time, it was a home invasion. When we tell people, the first response is a look of anxiety and disbelief. Then comes the question “You weren’t there, right?” And we unfortunately have to answer, “Actually, we were… But we’re fine!”

In spite of this horrible event in which we lost everything of value, we appreciate more than ever that we have each other and that we are both in good health. Nonetheless, it is an event that has left a mark and probably changed us both in ways we don’t yet realize. In conversation, we can explain what happened calmly, and relate to the extreme poverty in Mozambique that drives people to such acts. We don’t forget that we are grateful that we were not too roughly handled.

However, I cannot help but take the event personally.

First of all, three strangers forced themselves into our house. Second, they tied us up and, despite my pleading, stole my wedding ring off my fingers! Third, the realization that we had been watched, probably for several days, and that someone tipped them off that we were good targets.

Afterwards, we were well taken care of by VSO Mozambique and were in shock for a couple of days. The police weren’t that helpful either. Nevertheless, both Marlowe and I wished to end our time in Maputo pleasantly and worked hard to finish our projects on time.

We also wanted to do a bit of our usual traveling before heading home and tried to end on a high note. And so we did! Soon you’ll be able to read about safaris, ancient civilizations and music festivals. And before we left Maputo for good, friends threw us a party that was ever so nice.

Even now, a month later and in the safe streets of Toronto during a pleasant and sunny afternoon, I keep glancing around me. It makes me nervous to make a call out in the open and prefer to have nothing of value with me. What is more important to reiterate here, is that friends and family have been welcoming, supportive and attentive. It makes the transition to our “normal” lives, so much easier!