Carrying a Lighter Load…

I spent seven months in Africa and all that I had stolen was a case for my sunglasses. Therefore, it would only make sense that on my third day back I would have my entire backpack stolen – inside which was my laptop. I was having lunch with my friend and taxi driver, Joseph, at Java and had my bag on the floor, under the table between my leg and the wall. I am still baffled as to how it was taken without Joseph or my noticing (or the security guards in the restaurant) and my only conclusion is that the culprit must have been the Kenyan version of the Artful Dodger. Needless to say yesterday was a hard day – I just felt so stupid and used and frustrated, but I’m trying to think positively about all of this:

  • I had NO credit or debit cards in my bag, only about $30 in cash
  • For once in my life, I was NOT carrying a camera with me (whew!)
  • I NEVER carry my passport with me, just a copy
  • The laptop is more than 5 years old and hasn’t been working well lately
  • Before leaving I backed up EVERYTHING and then wiped the laptop of everything but my music
  • I was NOT carrying my iPod with me
  • My phone was in my pocket, not my backpack
  • I was planning on leaving the backpack here after my volunteer time anyway

So that’s me trying to see the glass as half full in regards to this situation. I’ve done a lot of traveling in areas that are famous for theft, so I figure this was bound to happen eventually – it’s sort of a rite of passage. All of the famous travelers have been mugged or robbed. I guess the worst part is that I really wanted to use my laptop as a fundraising tool and was planning on editing and posting several photos and videos on this blog to share my projects with all of you back home. But, cyber cafe it is – Kenya really isn’t the same without it! I will still be posting photos when I can, but I’m afraid that video may be too much for the dial up.

Things I’ve Learned:

  1. Never carry more than you need for that day
  2. Don’t underestimate the craftiness and skill of professional thieves and thugs
  3. When you get robbed in Kenya, no one feels worse about it than other Kenyans – they are ashamed of their countrymen

Since I cannot post the video I edited from the IDP camps on Friday, I will share a bit about it and try to post photos next time. So stay tuned for that post…

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1 Comment

  1. Jenn- I saw that you'd posted to your blog in my facebook newsfeed.. and I thought I'd say hello! I'm so glad to hear you're back in Kenya- that's exciting! And so sorry to hear about your bag being taken.. I'm actually at Java Junction right now, if you'd believe that, and so I'm definitely heeding the warning šŸ˜‰ Sounds like you've got a positive attitude about it though- and I'm happy to see that you're excited to be back here. Maybe we'll run into one another one of these days!

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