It was my fault. Once again, it is easier to justify the fact that I was careless than to question this type of situation. “Ah, if I just had acted differently” or “why did I leave my things there” are thoughts that crossed my mind, but I no longer feel anything when an aggression like that takes place. I no longer feel paralyzed, not even surprised. I put up with my loss and think how to go ahead.

I feel wronged, and what hurts me more is not being able to express what I feel. A thief does not ask who we are or what we do. He does not allow for a dialogue and does not give room for arguments. He does not let me negotiate what he can or cannot take away from me. I am sure that if I could have an honest conversation with the person that robbed me, we would come to an agreement. I am not traveling as any other tourist, but it does not matter.

Unfortunately, what has happened would not change. Nothing I do or redo will change my losses. Each item of my backpack was important to me, in different ways. When I was selected as a victim of a robbery, I was only a red backpack in the hands of a Muzungu. Just for the sake of it, I decided to list the inventory of my backpack. And argue, item by item, a simulation of what I would say to the thief. I know exactly what I had in my backpack, and I know the impact that each loss will have on my project. A pitty.

I estimate my financial loss – things that I will have to rebuy and redo – in approximately R$3,000.00. That will likely compromise a relevant portion of my project; I might even have to shorten the duration of the Mochila Social. Taking into account that 90% of the money I had been using came from my savings, and that I never was interested in profits from this project, the situation now has changed.


North Face Red Backpack – The best backpack I’ve ever had.  A gift from my parents specifically for this trip, but it went with me to India, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Ethiopia and Kenya. As you can see, it was the instrument I used to carry the things that are important to me.

Lumix F265 Camera – The best camera I’ve ever had, but, it is still for sale in the store, and if you want to rob me, do it. But please, in regard to the 4GB memory card, if you wait a minute I can download the pictures taken on Saturday, of the Naivasha Lake, and I can give it to you. Those pictures and videos were not saved anywhere else.

The book “Poor Economics: rethinking the way we fight poverty” – If you give me half an hour I can finish the 42 pages I have left and I will gladly give it to you. I bought this book on Amazon and asked it to be delivered where I was, because there are no books for sale there.

National Pornographic green t-shirt– A gift from my relatives, I put is in my backpack specifically because I was going to my first “safari”.

Hardcover black notebook – It has all my research and learning from my work in India about the impacts of migration on poverty and education. Although I have a computer backup of practically everything, it was a beautiful memory of my learning process. It contained the description of the chapters for a book I thought about writing, several diagrams of a future project. I have everything in my head as well, but if I could I would tear some pages out and would leave you the rest. (Enjoy the Indian postcards that are in the back page)

A patterned trip notebook – A very special person gave it to me. It went with me to several trips. It had parts of research, contacts, and messages of affection.  I would have liked to keep it.

An Ethiopian fabric – After more than 2 hours of conversation with a boy named Salam, one of the most well-mannered and potentially most intelligent persons I have ever met, I decided to buy an Ethiopian fabric to keep it as a memento. I was using it to protect my camera. If you insist, you can keep it.

A plaid sweater - It was not quite beautiful, and it was not quite warm. But it was one of the three sweaters I carry in my trip.

U$400, 00 – Money set aside for visas for Tanzania, Uganda, Ruanda and, maybe, Burundi. Also set aside for emergencies. I don’t even have words for it; it was more than 50% of all the money I have.

IPod + Phone + Cable – The device is having issues, it locks up every hour and does not turns itself off. It was a “gift” from my brother and it kept me company during my trips. It is still on sale in stores, you can keep it.

Old passport – I had to renew my passport because it was expiring. It was just a souvenir, with stamps from Israel, India, Jordan, and European countries. I had plans to frame its pages; I would love to have it back.

8GB Pen Drive– The stored information is not important. They are texts that I saved to publish when I had Internet access. I gave my first pen drive to someone, and ended up buying that one for myself. It is still on sale in stores, you can keep it.

 “Coexistence” key ring – My father made it. He put a protection prayer in the back and the Coexistence symbol in the front. It was in the outside pocket of my backpack, trying to suggest to unknown people a more tolerant world. I believe you may benefit from it.

Cable/Rope – A sort of a metallic cable for any emergency. It already tied my luggage to some pillars.

Cell phone charger – I was so happy because I bought a cell phone that served also as a modem for the Internet. Now, with no charger, I can’t even use my cell phone. I will buy another one, but if you don’t have the same cellular, why would you need the charger for?

Toothbrush and paste, scissors, deodorant, body and anti-mosquito repellent spray

Hamsa, a symbol of protection – Pink, in acrylic, a protection prayer engraved. It was also a gift from my parents, a good keepsake from home. I would like to have it back.

Marker, mechanical pencil, black pen and a pen with the Weitz Center logo

A green Decathlon towel – The best towel I’ve ever had, a “gift” from a great Brazilian girlfriend when she left India. I would like to return it to her someday....

3s Mochila Social Plates – A small gift made by my father, with the project site and logo. The idea was to give those plates to important people throughout my trip. Apparently you are quite important...

An Ethiopian phone SIM Chip– I was keeping it as a souvenir and also in case I needed to go back to the country.

Blue LED flashlight – A farewell gift from Israel, from the family that harbored me for 2 months without asking me almost any questions. They also gave me a wallet to use inside my underwear, and thanks to them I did not lose my passport or the rest of my money (which is not much right)

A birthday card from my uncle and aunt – A card given to me by them, in advance for my November birthday, in case we would not see each other. A piece of cardstock with lots of affection and meaning. I would like to have it back....

Sunglasses – They were fake, bought from a kind of street vendor in Sinai...

An Arabic page marker – My favorite page marker, in the shape of a Sunni Arab wearing a  kefiah.

Green Shorts with a hole in the leg – My favorite shorts. Truthfully, the only bermuda shorts I took to India and I wore it from the beginning to the end of my trip. I will have at least a lot of memories of it, since I am wearing it in almost all the pictures.

As you can see, most of the things are of value only to me.

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