Saturday, January 26, 2008


A Volunteer got robbed of her purse while visiting a restaurant in Natitingou this last weekend, so I got to spend the entire week sitting in the police station to make sure everything happened as it was supposed to. A Beninese guy who was with me asked if I had gotten the week off from work.

Fortunately, the purse was returned with everything in it. It turns out the restaurant owner was deeply implicated, though he wasn’t the one who originally took it. The sad part is that we really liked his restaurant and he had always shown us a good time, but since he stole the purse and then spent the entire week pretending to help us while constantly lying (which eventually helped us figure out that he was responsible), we just can’t go there anymore.

Moral of this story: The Natitingou police rock, and apparently no one expects criminals in Benin to act at all like those in America. At one point during the investigation the police told the restaurant owner that he was acting very suspiciously and that his story was contradicting the evidence, but then they asked him to leave and try to find the kid who they thought first stole the purse(!). So he left, and then came back. I even told the police that I was worried he was going to flee, to which they replied, “But he owns a restaurant and has a lot of stuff. Why would he flee?”


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