So the side mirror was stolen off the car today.
I can't say for sure exactly when it happened. I was in and out of a couple of shops and back to the Land Cruiser in between. I even moved it up 50 meters when I saw a different parking spot open so that I'd be closer to the butchery and the car would be safer.
Here's the thing...
There are hundreds of street kids in Arusha. It's a very sad thing. And usually, one or two of them make a big show of helping you find a parking spot and then promising to guard you car. I don't really feel good about giving to them but I usually do. I do because I would like my car to be safe from little things like having the side mirror taken off. I don't give much. What I give would be about what you'd pay for a chapati. Or a bus fare. Some times I'm organized enough to give them a bunch of bananas instead.
But last week I was in the waiting room at Byron's physical therapy session and I saw a big poster discouraging the giving of money to street kids. Why? Because they spend the money to sniff glue. I know this. But I give to them anyway because I fear for the car if I don't. And I feel for them, too. I don't even want to think about how hard their lives are.
When the boys crowded around me, looking for a little hand-out, I thought about that poster and how I really shouldn't be giving them money. I was conflicted and I decided not to give them any coins.
When I told Byron about the missing mirror, he wasn't too amused. He considers the coins a worthwhile insurance plan. As he pointed out, if I had given 50 cents, we wouldn't now be spending $50 for a replacement mirror.
But I don't want to give money for glue any more. I'm going to have to start thinking a little more creatively on this one...