so... my wallet got stolen today when I was at the market...but i'm actually really surprised at how little it's actually bugging me...I think it all has to do with how it happened and what has occurred since then.
I was shopping (and had luckily, gotten all i needed) when someone tapped me on the shoulder and said something, but all I heard was "stolen" in French. I looked into my bag, and sure enough, my wallet was gone. Of course today. i didn't take the bag i normally take to the market, i took the big open one with the broken zipper...my immediate reaction was just to look up and utter an obscenity. Then, everyone started looking around and yelling things, what i heard was "blabhblahblahumpupirablah" (translation: 'blabhlbhablahSHIRTblah') so they were describing who they saw and then, down the hill, away from my village, I saw someone running. Immediately, like 10-20 different people took off running after who we thought was the theif. I was of course, also gathering a rather large crowd so we made our way down close to where they were running into the banana forest and waited. I got 5749825 different stories from all the people around, "we caught him," "no one caught him," "we don't know where they went," "they went that way" so i'm just standing around waiting for something a little more definitive. I was being helped by my fellow PCV who lives nearby and came in to hang out and go to the market, and by a very nice nurse with pretty good english, from the health center. Eventually, I was too overwhelmed by all the people and stares and just wanted to retreat back to my house, so i gave my number to the nurse and she said she'd call if she heard anything. Now, this is where it gets very Rwandan....so I only called the Peace Corps office to let our security head know because that's the procedure, but didn't call any one else. Not long after, as I'm sitting drinking a fanta and chilling with my friend, I get a call from the woman in charge of our compound and i don't understand much, but i got that she knows someone stole from me. Not long after, I get a call from my supervisor (whom i hadn't yet told) letting me know that he's called the Executive Secretary of the Sector (top person for the area) and I thank him and let him know that I talked to Peace Corps about it. We carry on our business around town, and as we're about to head back up to my place we see this police officer in a car who stops in the middle of the road and calls us over. He says "I'm am Police, get in, we go home" so we think he's taking us back to my place and I'll give him the rundown. Then I get a call from one of my nuns (whom I hadn't told), telling me to come home because the police were looking for me. Obviously, they'd already found me, so I let her know. Then he drives us down the road and has us get out because he says they have already arrested people. First, I'm confused by the plural...but not terribly surprised with as quickly as news travels (this has been less than an hour...).
They take us to a crowd of people surrounding 6 men on the ground and then they ask me if i recognize any of them...I, of course, don't since I didn't see who took it. After a while of standing there awkwardly surrounded by my whole town, the crowd starts going nuts and yelling about something and pointing down the street, I look, and the local cops are escorting another 4-5 men down the street. My friend had to go home not long after this, and since I couldn't really help, we asked if we could just go. They took us and the Police Chief got my information and then assured us that they would find and arrest who it was.
All in all, a very interesting experience. Mostly I was laughing, because I told the cop it wasn't much, 2-3 thousand francs (which is less than $5) and they were thinking i was saying dollars. Cracks me up cause dude stole from me cause I'm white and therefore MUST have lots of money, when there were Rwandans selling their vegetables that had more than I did on them. Let that be a lesson to ya!
But of course then, word started coming back to me from my neighbors that it was 2000 dollars. First of all, hillarious. I've never even had 2000 dollars to my name. Second of all, why would I be so dumb as to run around a Rwandan market with that much? I just hope the criminal has learned that crime doesn't pay. Literally. Especially, trying to steal from a Peace Corps volunteer.