Saturday, October 22, 2011

Robbed in Tarawa


I spent the last few days trying to figure out how to describe this place.  I wanted to have an open mind and not be so judgmental.  I wanted to believe that under all the trash, stench and leering there were kind people and a charming atoll.  Maybe there are, but I don't see it.  Yesterday we were robbed.  In broad daylight.  They broke the lock off of the door and went through all of our stuff.  They took two computers   (navigational computer and the computer we do all of our sailmail stuff on), our iPad (most devastating to Jake), some rather pricey binoculars, and Andy's scuba mask.  They left our old MAC with a bum keyboard, so with the generosity of another cruiser, we're able to hook up an external keyboard and get that up and running.  Hopefully, we can reload everything fairly easily.

We weren't the only ones to be broken into.  Before we got here, one boat got his dinghy stolen and he had to pay $100 to get it back.  Another boat was entered via a spare key the robbers found.  And a third boat had locks broke on the lockers in their cockpits.  All in broad daylight.  There are numerous fisherman around here so there is no doubt someone saw each and every incident, but no one is talking. The police are equally useless...they asked us if we had any suspects.  They offered to come out the next day and take pictures (of what, I'm not sure), but when Andy went to pick the guy up, he couldn't find his camera.  The thieves left their tool they used to break the lock, a purple hat, and a large piece of styrofoam (the common method of transportation around here).  But evidently, those aren't very helpful to the police.

It's not the stuff they took that I'm upset about, although it's going to be rather pricey to replace those things.  All of our pictures were on that computer.  I have most of them on this old MAC, but everything from Tahiti to present day is gone (well, Andy has all of his pictures on a separate hard drive, so not all is lost).  I've been trying to do some writing as well and all of that is gone.  We recently wrote out a resume for Andy and that's gone.  Now I know everyone knows what a pain that is!  But worst of all, my little boy is scared now.  He went through his room with a fine tooth comb making sure nothing was taken and he handled it all like a big boy.  But he tells me he's a worrier like me and if he ever finds those guys, he's got his bear spray and machete, because that's what daddy would do...  really?  

If I sound bitter, that's because I am.  We go to great pains not to offend people in other countries, to follow their customs, to smile and try to be friendly, regardless of how we're treated.  You can put up a hundred churches on these little islands. You can make people cover their knees and shoulders.  You can put up signs reminding people it's not nice to rape your daughter.  But I don't think you can take the bad out of bad people.  The lady on the bus taking our money yesterday had obviously been beaten.  The men giving Andy the stink eye and me leering looks (despite my extremely modest way of dressing) as we walk along the streets didn't have nice thoughts on their mind, I can assure you.  

We were looking forward to going to one of the closer outer islands on Monday, Abaiang.  But I think we're just going to head up to Majuro instead.  Although, truth be told, I heard it's not much better up there.  But the sail up there will give us time to clear our heads and open that mind back up so that we can remember why we're doing this... 

I have some pictures still on our cameras but I'm having trouble loading them on this computer.  I'll keep trying.  

5 comments:

The Simple Living Project said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you guys were broken into :( I recently had my scooter stolen right from the dock here at my Marina! There are bad people everywhere, but there are good people everywhere too. Although I felt very violated when my scooter was stolen ... it has forced me to ride my bike much more regularly in the rainy weather, and I find myself enjoying that. So I hope you guys find the silver lining to your own situation ...

Cheers
~Adam
www.insearchofthesea.com

Nancy, Ethan & Zada said...

^%$#@)(*&%!!! DRATS.....You know what, bad people suck. Makes you always hope there is some form of hell for those who do mean things. I feel badly for you all, especially Jake. Zada was terribly upset too when we were robbed (last month by the Suri Indians) and she realized all her recent homemade movies were forever gone. So, damn...sorry girl. It's an uneasy feeling to be sure...
Despite this blog on the robbery and not-so-kind people, it is good after months of being offline to see how you guys are! The northern Sea of Cortez wasn't nearly as hot as it was last year, but we had to spend more time in the B of LA area and less at Refugio, though we just spent 11 days there and loved it. Posting blogs this week...our love and hugs and good cheer to you 3 fine people we love and miss greatly! xoxo

Anonymous said...

So glad to read that you all are safe! The worry I felt as I read, I guess its the feeling of family in danger. You know what I mean. All I had to do was look at the picture of Jake & us with pout, pout fish on the chart table.
Stay safe together, all our love.
Scott, Teri & Bosun. S/V Ulalena.

The Homesteader's Wife said...

Oh, I am so sorry that happened to you guys! We've been robbed before (GPS and stuff from our car) and the feeling sucks. You just feel so violated! I'm just glad it happened while you guys weren't there so nobody got hurt. Sounds like this sort of thing goes on a lot. It makes me so mad when people think that just because you have nice things, you won't mind being robbed as you can probably afford to buy new stuff. I got that same vibe in Hong Kong where people were trying to rip us off left and right and my camera went "missing." Hope things get better for you guys!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you just want to break out the "ugly American" and beat them over the head with it. Or boobly trap the door to electrocute them...Just goes to show, no matter how nice you are, rotten people will always be rotten. Time to get Jake a bear trap to set when you leave the boat! - TIL

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.