Another Monday Morning Mugging

Arusha, Tanzania, 9:30 am, broad daylight!

Arusha, where I was mugged

Arusha, where I was mugged

I was walking with Adi and Julia down the crowded main street. There was a city park to our left. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw two young men come up beside me and make a grab for my very small bag (worn cross ways across my body and hanging down in front).

Fortunately (or unfortunately) the bag’s strap held and I went down the small embankment with the guys as they took off. I ended up at the base of a large tree, rolled in a ball in its massive roots, bruised and a little bloody. Julia, who was walking in front, thought I had just fallen down the hill, but my roommate Adi sort of saw what happened and came to pick me up, along with some other townspeople. As we were dusting ourselves off and frantically searching for my sunglasses (I was a little disoriented and was focused on retrieving my sunglasses), a woman came up to tell the 3 of us to get the hell out of the park, that it still wasn’t safe – not for muzungus (foreigners), and not for locals either.

Me and Adi on a mountain bike safari in Hell’s Gate park

So off we went to a nearby café to get a cup of coffee and collect ourselves. As we walked the few blocks to the café, a number of people came up to us to apologize for the incident.

One young man in particular kept trying to get our attention, but at this point we were a little weirded out and we were trying to keep our distance.

Finally he held out his hands. He had found my sunglasses and was trying to give them back to me. Now, that made me cry.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 and is filed under Africa.

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