CSI Habana and Paradise lost

Well it happened.  Our paradise is lost and I am working really hard to get it back.  Last Wednesday Rafa had packed his bags and was all ready for his big trip back to Guatemala for the Icaro festival, he was leaving in the early hours before it got light.  I snuck off to bed knowing that I would be alone for the morning rush to school.  Rafa came up later, he was aware he needed to get at least some sleep before his flight.

I was woken at 4.20 by Rafa telling me that his hand luggage had disappeared.  As he knew he was leaving so early he had prepared everything to just fly straight out the door.  Suddenly he realised that somebody else had flown straight out of the door with it.  Then I started to look around the living room.  Where was my handbag, my purse with my driving license and ID, my ipod and base, my blackberry, Nico’s school bag, the little DVD player ……..  Rafa was despairing as he remembered exactly what was in his hand luggage, a large amount of cash to buy things for the film school, his brand new mac laptop with all his work and photos, presents for his sister ……….. and his passport.

The next 14 hours were spent dealing with the Cuban police.  They came in droves and many different departments.  They had a dog, they finger printed, they asked a million questions over and over.  Everyone seemed to be from a different department.  We got tired of giving the same descriptions over and over to different people.  A lot of them were army.  I didn’t understand, why was the army involved.  Many new ones kept arriving and there was lots of hugging and banter and even some flirting.  Some came in army uniforms, some police, some in plain clothes.

CSI woman (as Rafa and I later coined her as her tough slightly sexy  tomboy image could have been well characterised) was there with her box of tricks dusting away with her young black sidekick with the slightly too short trousers.  I described my Blackberry to her and mentioned that it was given to me by my sister in the UK and had a little O2 symbol on it.  This seemed to cause some excitement and we were told to follow them to another office to take more details.  Willing to do anything that helped, off we went.  We then spent another hour with some other police in the office photoshopping a picture of a Blackberry with a little O2 motif and designing and drawing my little Quick Silver suitcase.

Meanwhile back at the scene of the crime ……my name and nationality caused a lot of bureaucratic stress.  Was I inglesa or Britianica? Was I from Inglaterra or Gran Bretagne?  What was Reino Unido?  Even when I had my passport open in front of them.

Why did I only have one surname?  Why were we not married?  Oh goodness we had 3 children.  Yes we have lived together for 8 years.  Is that ok?  We never found the time to get married and most people in the world only have one surname.

The Chanel lipstick I had in my bag (the least of my worries) but did I not like Victoria Secrets???  Uuuuuh not really I don’t really care about the lipstick right now just everything else!!

They had entered the house from the beach side through a side door that lead into a downstairs toilet.   They had cut down our Guatemalan Hammock and supposedly used it to carry their loot.  They had been fast and left through the front door.  They had probably had a car waiting.  The dog got a trail but it stopped at the corner of the street.  They may have been watching our routine from the beach side of the house for weeks.  They may have seen Rafa switch off the lights on his way up.  They must have had a torch.

The boys didn’t do their homework that day and Paulo slept with his new plastic gun on his pillow.  Now we have a man standing outside the house on the street all night.  Everyone tells us that this is the season when theft and crime reach a peak for Christmas.  Everything is obvious now after the event, as usual.

Rafa is now in Guatemala for the last of the festival.  I spent the weekend at the film school with the children feeling sad and mopey and missing Rafa so we could be sad together.

There is very little violence in Cuba and people are not trafficking drugs, raping and killing women but still people also have very little money and are looking to a future where they will have to get real to survive.  Maybe we were too complacent or just damn unlucky but it has happened and I don’t want to think about it any more.

Little by little we will replace our possessions but what is lost forever is the little piece of me that was so happy to be in my new paradise, so happy to trust and smile again.

All my family are alive and healthy and I must think about all the lovely friends who will arrive for the festival and the party and how things can be replaced and family and friends are forever.




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12 Responses to CSI Habana and Paradise lost

  1. Lissette says:

    Oh Jo!

    I am so sorry this happen to you and your family! as you stated, your safe the familia is safe…. more importantly what has been taken is your trust, which I hope in time it will be repaired by the friendships you have made there, and not let these few steal your joyfulness, your smile, your trust will be regained as time heals…
    I am sending you hugs…. and many many blessings…..

    Hey is Rafa is here in Guatemala?, if so what is his number so we can call and see if he needs anything…. would like to see him…. Bill and lissette

    Love lissette…

  2. Paola says:

    Oh damn… :(( ^?*&$%!! so sorry to hear Jo…
    But as you said, the most important is that you and all your family are OK!
    Things come and go… but people are irreplaceable, especially your dearest!
    Big Big Big HUGSSSS!!!

  3. Josephine says:

    thanks Paola!!

  4. Liz says:

    Hey Jo,

    What a bummer…sorry to hear about the robbery. I guess you were lucky really that nothing more serious happened.
    Enjoy the festive season!
    abrazos to all of you from all of us,

  5. Heather says:

    I am so sorry to hear that! What a shocker!
    It took me so long to get over the ….disturbance… when our house was broken into.
    Thinking I could wake up to robbers or come home to people in my house etc.
    But like you, we were lucky, and no one got hurt, and everything that got taken could be replaced, except my grandmother’s gold watch. It isn’t even about the “stuff”, it’s the feelings of being violated, watched, robbed, intruded upon in your own home, stangers hands going through your things. Yuck!

    well this too shall pass. Again, I am sorry to hear it, and glad everyone is okay.

    • Josephine says:

      thanks Heather. Bit by bit I am feeling better but it is a bit like grief I have been through every emotion. I just need to get my good mood back. First Christmas Party on Friday and Rafa coming home. MIght help!

  6. Al and Marian Papps says:

    So sorry to hear of this very distressing burglary. It must have been a nightmare for you all. Try not to let it spoil your enjoyment of your lovely house and new life in Cuba.

    • Josephine says:

      thankyou my lovely Aunt and Uncle! We will bounce back. I am very impressed that you know how to comment on a blog. You really are technologically advanced! love Jo xx

  7. Selena says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you were robbed. It really does make you feel violated. In any country, when someone has more than everyone else, it’s bound to be a temptation! Particularly at this time of year. Maybe you need a guard dog?

  8. Jo says:

    now we have a custodio 24/7 but we are thinking of getting a dog too ……… maybe a Belgian shepherd!

  9. Ann says:

    Oh Jo, Marina told me and i rushed online. I am so sorry. I guess even in paradise you cannot let your guard down. But who would have thought huh?
    My paradise here in San Pedro El Alto got lost too… a couple of weeks ago… but I don’t wanna add to you sadness. I just wanna let you know, I know how you feel 🙁
    We miss you guys down here, come visit us soon.

    • Josephine says:

      so sorry to hear you too! big hug from Cuba. We will be back in Antigua hopefully in March.

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