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Midnight Call

Last night, Robi and I went to bed earlier than I think I have since primary school. We had woken up at 5:30 yesterday morning and gone for a run. The first in a series of training morning that I think may actually kill me. My legs are still throbbing (though I must add that I did beat my brother in a 5 mile run just over a year ago, so I’m not totally lame). After a full day’s work of sitting at the computer and doing my best to interact with the teachers, I was bushed. At 4:30pm, Robi began preparations for her famous African Chicken Stew (from Eastern Africa, not South Africa). Dinner was at 6:30 and was great, as usual. At 8:30pm, we called it a night. My eyes were burning, so I gave up. And sound asleep I fell. WOW! I had no idea how tired I was. Not even the six thousand mosquito bites woke me (I was too tired to put the mosquito netting back over the bed). Sleeping and having great dreams, I think. Then there was a knock at the door. I slowly dragged my consciousness out of Lalaland and noticed that it was still dark out. I had two immediate thoughts. Now, there needs to be some background to this story, a little bit.

 It is not unusual for us to be woken up in the morning on weekends (read 7am) for basic questions. For example, one morning a few months ago was, “Can I borrow your cd player?” Our family does not sleep in. Of course, they go to sleep at 8:30 most nights, but the sun doesn’t seem to beat them up in the morning. Our younger sister, Amo, has to be on a bus at 6am to make it to school in town, so she goes out to the bus stop at around 5:30, I think. So, I first thought that Amo must be waking us up to ask or tell us something before she goes to school. Then I looked at the clock and saw that it was 12:15am. So not Amo.

 Unfortunately, one of our family members has a problem with alcohol. There have been a few instances when he has had much too much to drink and come to the house for food and to give a piece of his mind. (Robi noted that it was raining last night and that each of the tirades came on a rainy night.)

So, I thought that maybe our family member had come for some food and gone to the wrong door by mistake, knocking because he couldn’t get in. Robi beat me out of bed, not that I was really rushing to leave the comfort zone. She came back and said that there were three men at the family’s house, talking with Mama and Fengi. Then she went back to find out more. I decided to get up and go see what was going on. Unfortunately, I wasn’t moving very fast. The men left by the time I was up and Robi came back to tell me that it was the police. My first thought…our alcohol-dependent family member was in the hospital, morgue, or jail. We weren’t able to talk with the police, so we didn’t know. This morning, when Robi awoke, bright and early at 6am (I don’t know how she does it. I was still dead to the world), she talked with Fengi and Mama about the police. And an interesting story came out.

Last night around midnight, the police got a call from someone saying one of two things. Either someone called saying that there was a white woman being beaten by her husband at our house, that could be heard a block away or they said that they were that white woman being beaten. Of course, her name was not Boitumelo (Robi’s African name) and she also asked for a ride home from the bar (two houses over from our house). The Kgoathes said that if there was a problem, that they would absolutely have heard it, and they have not heard a cross word. Either way, it is very scary that someone decided to say this. The police didn’t think that it was a real call, but I am glad that they checked up on it. Makes me feel better, but I am still feeling a little unsettled about the call. Why, of all people, did they decide to say that it was us? We are the only white people in the village. Is this an attempt to undercut us? I certainly hope that it was only a plan by a very drunk woman to get a ride home.

 Well, this was supposed to be a quick post. I guess not. Today I spent my day working on a Sports League proposal for grant consideration from the national Lotto and from Coca-Cola. I also took some time to work on Robi’s pet project, the Youth Centre newsletter Voice of the Youth, whose first issue comes out soon. Hopefully I can post it when it does. Very excited about it.

Hope all is well wherever you are.

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2 Responses

  1. Can’t believe that you outed your brother Rob like that. He will be very embarassed about the publicity around his 5 mile loss to you.

  2. Hugh – You are so smart…I guess that’s why you are the lawyer. Unfortunately, I went running with Rob in Maine once and I think that Rob would kick my ass in a 5 miler. No one would believe that he would let me win the way that you did.

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