Friday, September 16, 2011

Sarah: Where is my bookbag?

Ugandan police stole my bookbag.

Let me backup:

Frank, his sisters Tracy & Lina, and I packed into the car and headed to the airport. I slept on the way. We get to the airport, but we are stopped by the police at the checkpoint.* The passengers have to get out of the car, go to a separate "secure point" to get wanded down. Meanwhile, Tracy is in the drivers seat and the policeman is "searching" the car for any kind of threat to the tiny, tiny, seemingly unimportant to the rest of the world Entebbe airport. 

I suppose we were labeled safe by the policemen, because we were sent on our way. As we park in the parking lot, open the boot (the boot is the trunk) to get out our luggage, I ask Francis, "Honey, where's my bookbag?" I immediately saw the panic in his eyes. He asked me "What?" He came around the side of the car to get a better look at the suitcases. He said, "It was here! They took it. The police must have taken it at the checkpoint."

We piled back in the car and pull ahead to talk to the other policemen. These guys were really nice. They listened to us, they were really sympathetic, but then they called over their "supervisor" who was a whole other story. He wouldn't listen to us, he kept saying "No, that's not possible", and he was overly defensive. We didn't even tell him that we thought they stole it. We said that maybe he just took it out of the boot to get a better look at the other contents and forgot to put it back in. "That's not possible." Well sir, if that's not possible then where is my effing bookbag??? He even went so far as to tell me that I probably put it somewhere else and I should check the rest of the car. So I pulled out everything in the car (not in the boot) and I looked around. Was my bookbag there? No. No it was not.

Eventually, we go back to the checkpoint with Officer Defensive to chat with the guys there and take a look around. Those men were just like Officer defensive. They wouldn't listen to our story and they certainly were not helpful. Their final decision was that, in our rush to make it to the airport, we must have forgotten it at home. Yeah, make it my fault. I started crying. Hard. I wanted those policemen to see a mzungu cry, to feel guilty, maybe to apologize and give me back my stuff. But no. I just got stares.

I lost my new macbook pro, camera (a canon xsi), journal, ipod, and sleeping pillow. I have none of the pictures I took while in Uganda. I am in mourning.

Feel free to comment on the post. However, please refrain from talking to me about this face-to-face. I guarantee you, I will cry. 

*Why do they even need the checkpoint before people enter the airport?! People aren't driving their cars into the airport! And (supposedly) they don't even take anything out of the car! How is that effective? If I have a bomb in the car, you better be sure it's going to be under the four 50lb. suitcases just chilling in the boot. So let me ask you again: HOW IS THIS "SECURITY" EFFECTIVE?!


  1. holy cow. that is so awful. I wish I had words of comfort for you, but all I can say is I AM SO SORRY. :(

  2. When I was in Uganda there was a billboard that say "corruption is bad, stop it!"
    I wish they had listened back then.
    I'm sorry dear friend :(

  3. ug. I am surprised that kelsey wasn't in there. THAT would have been bad.