Friday, November 24, 2006


Yesterday afternoon I received some news that has devastated our community of friends here in Maputo. One of our close friends was the victim of a terrible crime in her house and the shockwaves of this incident will likely affect all of us for a long time to come. All of the horror stories of violence in this city seemed like distant urban legends until they finally reached someone close to me and I was smacked with this terrible reality. Are the feelings of security we possess entirely over inflated? Can one really prepare themselves enough for such a surprise and vicious attack? How does one overcome such tragedy and continue to approach life in Mozambique with a positive spirit?

On Wednesday morning, our friend was preparing to leave her house for work when she received a knock on her door. It was a man dressed in an electrician’s uniform apparently on a routine mission to read the electrical meter. She let him in and immediately he grabbed her and held a gun to her head. For the next two hours he proceeded to tie her up, rape her and steal most of her valuable possessions. After he was finished, he called one of her coworkers to brag about the incident and report that she was still left tied up in the apartment.

Receiving news of this nature leaves one entirely speechless. How can you begin to wrap your mind around a crime as heinous as this or begin to understand the soul of a man who could carry out such evil deeds? In addition to recovering mentally and spiritually, our friend has spent most of the past two days with doctors and police, dealing with the legal and medical repercussions of the attack. She has already begun medical and psychological treatment but this will undoubtedly be a long and painful process.

No one can truly predict how they would react in a similar situation, just as one cannot foresee how they would react to receiving news of this kind about a close friend. We all want to help but it is difficult to find the right words to console, empathize and encourage. She is returning home on Saturday and, despite the trauma of the past 48 hours, insisted on having a party to see all of her friends before she left. She said, more than anything, she needed to be surrounded by some serious positive energy.

So last night we all gathered at one of our favourite local pubs to share some drinks, some cheerful stories and some long embraces. It was something all of us needed really, the chance to get together as a community, vent our frustrations and remind ourselves that the sun will still rise tomorrow morning. It was very important for our friend to demonstrate to everyone that she has not changed, she is not still tied up in the bedroom and that she is ready to continue on with her life. I think the most remarkable thing about my friend has been her ability to stay positive in the aftermath of the incident. She was convinced she was going to die Wednesday morning and instead she feels that she has received a new gift of life. Such an inspiring testament to a beautiful, enduring soul.


May you rise above this calamity with grace and determination

Your spirit will shine much brighter than this present darkness

Truly it shall no longer hold its strength over you

And you will walk proudly once again along the path of light and love

That will surely sustain you for all of your days.

Many blessings to you until our paths meet again.

Peace and Love



Anonymous mom said...

I am so sorry to hear of this devastating violation of your dear friend. Dad and I met her numerous times during our visit and found her to be such a beautiful vibrant young woman who was so excited about her work and experience in Mozambique.
She is such a lovely girl. My prayers go out to her as she attempts to heal from this despicable personal offense. Please send her my love.

8:25 a.m.  
Blogger Lacithecat said...

Jared, I am so shocked. I am sitting here in the Monte Carlo almost speechless. Its horrible and I think we get easily lulled into the apparent safety here. Will send her my prayers - even though neither you or her has any idea of who I am. Just another intrepid in Mozambique.

12:28 p.m.  
Anonymous Matthew Armstrong said...

Jared, I had logged onto your blog to read some nostalgic news about the great times we had in Maputo and was confronted by this terrible tragedy. I am totally shocked and speechless. My thoughts will be with your friend, you and all our friends in Maputo. Please stay safe and support and look after each other. Much love, Matthew.

10:59 a.m.  

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