I was stuck in ACH and desperate to talk with Anita – she knew I had gone there to look at a potential DVT but no more. Yet for over 20 hours we did not communicate.
Thoughts ran wild!
She was over 4000 miles away. Had there been a car crash, was she or my daughter injured? Why were they not answering anything?
I tried Whatsapping our church pastor on the ground in Mwanza, he knew nothing but said there had been some power cuts which would possibly have affected phone lines.
Others had seen Anita after work that Thursday evening and I knew she was going to be out having Cream Tea at some friends locally. I still worried though.
More so the following morning when there was still no news.
It took many more hours to finally get the story. I put out a widespread WhatsApp message asking for any news. Then finally contact.
What had happened? Why had they gone off grid?
The events of Thursday Night
Like most expats in Africa we lived on a compound, fenced and guarded by security day and night. These guards are colloquially referred to as Askaris – though this is an incorrect term to use.
On Thursday Anita went to meet with the Head teacher on the compound to talk about visas and getting our money back from the school.
My daughter needed her phone for internet and so came to find her. They returned to the house to find that one of the Askari guards was outside the house with their bags going through them.
Our own night guard was robbing us. He made excuses – Anita ran back to the Head and the police were called. There wasa commotion and other colleagues came out to find out what was going on.
The three night guards were arrested but not before they had stolen my wife’s phone, her wallet, bank cards and cash. They also stole revision notes and books from my daughter for three of her upcoming IGCSE exams, her PE Kit and her swimming kit and trainers. All in a few minutes.
The ‘guards’ were taken away and thrown in jail. To date we have recovered the bank cards only and nothing else. Revision notes needed to be replaced and bits of kit have been loaned.
This explains the absence of any phone call – the phone and all of it’s contents including pictures taken in Nairobi have gone for good.
They must have realised I was away and taken the opportunity to rob us. We were sickened as you can imagine.
Anita and my daughter were both very shaken by the incident but also really valued the local support they had been given.
In all that time I remained on M.E.A.U. a place I would be for a few more days to come.