Monday, July 30, 2012

crime too close to home

Monday morning Eneye came to work with a black eye.  On her way home from work Friday evening she was assaulted and mugged. It had been raining Friday and that means that there weren't as many taxis running.  She had to walk most of the way home.  At about 8PM four young men attacked her on a dark overgrown strip of sidewalk not far from her house.  One man covered her eyes, one grabbed and emptied her purse, one man searched her pockets, one man punched her in the face and they took off running with her week's salary.  Bystanders came running to help when they heard her screaming and crying.  She was laid up at home most of the weekend.  There was no point reporting the incident to the police as she said they wouldn't do anything.  It's rainy season and lots of people are out of work and crime has increased accordingly.

I felt terrible, she insisted she was fine except for the pounding headache on the side of her face where she was hit.  We discussed ways to avoid this happening again.  Possibly her leaving early on rainy afternoons so she can take the taxis and avoiding walking in dark areas even if it means taking longer to get home.  I offered her a ride home on Fridays when Justin is already home before she leaves work.  I'm really mad that this sweet woman who has become so much apart of our lives worked her tail off all week for her salary and had it stolen from her.  I feel awful that she had to go through something like this.

Justin and I discussed it and think we will offer Eneye, her husband and Tutu the extra room in our outbuilding to live in.  It's a large, warm, safe place for them to stay.  We've been avoiding this so far for lots of different reasons.  All of them selfishness on our part.  Not wanting to give up our privacy on the weekends, not wanting to share our compound with another family, not wanting Tutu to prevent her mother from doing her job Monday through Friday, not wanting to have to deal with the possible issues that could come with inviting three other people into our lives every day for the remainder of our time here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  We of course have the security concerns to go over with the right people as well.  I admit to not want to be responsible for another 4 year old child during the day.  All these things are legitimate reasons but extremely selfish reasons.

We agree that it's come to a point where not offering the space to Eneye and her family is not an option. It's just the decent thing to do.  Even if our comfort is compromised a little bit.  The benefits are endless.  Eneye and her husband would be saving money, Tutu would have a safe place to play and more time with her Mother, we'd benefit from having a live in babysitter (as we did in Manila), her family would be there to take care of Lucy when we travel and keep an eye on the house.  Eneye would likely be able to be at work earlier or stay later on occasion for work since she wouldn't have to commute any longer.  The biggest benefit could be saving Eneye the danger of traveling sometimes two hours one way to and from work in the dark.

We loved having a live-in housekeeper in the Philippines.  It was a lovely win-win situation.  But, we sort of relished the idea of having our own space in the evening and weekends to be alone as a family here in Ethiopia. I'm just not sure how we can continue to close our eyes to the situation.  It just seems like the right thing to do.  


Heather P. said...

I am so sorry to hear about what happened to Enye. You all have kind hearts, and I know Enye and their family will appreciate your generosity.

Emily said...

That's tough- for everyone. I hope you will all be able to find a solution that works for all involved.