House guests from down under

When I returned home from my trip to the Ivorian border, there were two women preparing food in the kitchen. I did not know them but I assumed this was normal behavior. I briefly said “hi”, but my greeting fell on deaf ears.

A few hours later, when I emerged from my room, I discovered they were still in the house, now sitting in the living room with papers spread about. When I walked in the room, both women gave me a look of disgust and then went back to work. They did not say a word.

I called the director of my organization and asked him about my house guests. He was not informed of anyone needing housing and wanted to talk with them directly. I walked out and handed the older woman the phone. She grabbed it with a scowl as if I handed her a dead, rotting carcass. She spoke with the director for a few moments and then hung up.

Long story short. The women were on an accreditation team assessing our clinics. Their driver knew the house I was staying in was usually empty and offered it to them for a night. When I arrived, they were extremely upset that I was invading their space!

I tried to start things all over again and introduced myself. I stuck out my hand to shake. The old woman looked down at it, scoffed and said “I will not shake some white man’s hand who thinks he is better than me!”

I stayed in my room for the rest of the night and eventually fell asleep.

The next morning, I woke up at 6am to the sound of water pouring. I went to their bathroom and discovered that they had left the water running from the faucet all night. I turned it off, no problem. I then went to get a sip of water and discovered that they had drunk all of my potable supply. For some reason, this was the point I got mad.

Immediately when they woke up, I asked in a in a non-friendly manner “why did you leave the faucet on all night and drink all of my water?”

As expected, this threw them into a rage. And I did not care.

I took my computer, went outside and waited for them to leave. At 2pm they drove away and tranquility returned.

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One Response to “House guests from down under”

  1. Tim Z Falconer Says:

    Chris, the honesty in your writing is stunning. Thank you.

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