As some of you may remember, on Sunday we had 2 puppies suddenly come into our possession. We'd spent a large part of the day chasing them around the yard trying to catch them. Chris had been sick all week and still wasn't feeling great, especially after chasing puppies all day. So we were very distracted, to say the least. Because of all that, we forgot to lock the back door. Josephat, our guard, was on duty and our regular guard dog, Smokey, was there too. Chris and I had gotten up several times in the night to check on the puppies. We got up at 4AM, went outside to the porch, fixed a hole the dogs had chewed through to try to escape, talked with Josephat and then went back to bed. At 5AM we woke up again because we heard the puppies. When we got up we realized that we'd been robbed. Josephat said he didn't hear anything and we think Smokey was distracted by the puppies and that's why she didn't bark. The thieves took both our laptops, our new camera, Chris's boots, both our cell phones, my Blackberry, Chris's backpack, his wallet with ID and credit cards, a green bucket and balsamic vinegar. Don't ask why they took those last 2 items. I have no idea. Luckily, they didn't get our passports or residence work permits. Those were locked up and they were smart enough to not open any drawers or cabinets because it would've made noise.
We've gone to the police every day this week trying to go through the process of filing reports, etc. They took our guard into custody (standard protocol) and we don't have any idea if he was involved or not. Seems like too much of a coincidence for him not to at least tip someone off. But at the same time, he's such a nice guy, we just can't imagine him doing this to us (I know, that's what everyone says). Also, to make matters worse, on Monday while we were at the police station, the puppies ran away. And yesterday we discovered that Smokey had been poisoned. We don't know if they did it the night of the robbery and it took a few days to go into effect, or if someone wanted to kill the dog because we now have no guard, or if it was just a strange coincidence (because people poison dogs all the time here). We were both really broken up about the dog but we had the vet over yesterday. He gave her a shot and we've been monitoring her. Last night we thought for sure she wouldn't live, but today she's doing a bit better and we think she'll be okay.
Yesterday the police transfered Josephat to another jurisdiction and put the case there because it's closer to where we live. And an investigator came to the house today, walked around, took an inventory of what was lost. We've also been working with local leaders who know the area well. Things work slow slow slow here, so we're just trying to be patient and see it through. We've had several Tanzanians that we know through work and other channels stop by to lend a hand, make phone calls to people they know in the police, and give their "pole" ("po-lay"; it's a word that basically means "I'm sorry."). It's been really wonderful and heartwarming to see the support that we have both in Tanzania and abroad.
I think Chris and I are handling things pretty well, or at least as well as can be expected. We're not freaking out or anything, just a little jumpy at night. But we're for damn sure locking our doors now and are locking up anything of value (not that there's much left). We'll continue to keep everyone posted if any new developments come to light.