I was supposed to take the biggest german shepherd from the mission to my house in Namaacha next year. But when I went to speak to Irmã Lucilia about it this morning, she said we would have to change the plans because she thinks someone has been poisoning the dogs and she is worried about the safety of the mission. I had noticed that the dog I was supposed to take had appeared sick the past few days. The dogs are the only thing that really protect all the people on the mission (which at night is only young girls and a handful of women), in addition to all the electronics in the house, in the two schools’ secretary offices, and the computer lab of the high school. In addition to how sad it is that people would poison these dogs, it’s obviously quite worrisome to know those people are out there and plotting something.
Without going into too many details, I am sad and frustrated. I have a friend in my community and church who I trusted and thought that they valued me for who I am and as a friend. But recently I have felt that they were trying to take advantage of me because, despite the extensive time I have spent with them as a community member, they still have the conception that because I am white and American I have money and it is my mandate to come solve their problems. I went to talk to Irmã Lucilia about it and get her advice and she confirmed that this has happened before and this person is always asking for things. It’s not that they are a bad person or even that they don’t consider me a friend, but just that they also see me as a way to profit personally. I wonder how long I would have to live here for people to just see me as one of them, or will I always be different?