Last weekend, on Friday (the 18th), Woody and I watched an episode of Community right before going to bed. My head hit the pillow for about 15 minutes before a car alarm sounded right outside my house. 12:30AM on a Friday night? On our campus? Another alarm sounded. My ears perked up and listened for any new information that they might glean. A few moments passed, and then I heard the heavy footsteps of running on a nearby path. I looked out my bedroom window by tucking my head under a curtain and saw 4 security guards calmly conversing by my neighbors house. Something told me to keep observing. Whistles blew from multiple locations, right as I saw my friend Tyler running around the perimeter of the campus with a metal pole in his hand. I could hear him yell, “let’s check over there!”
I threw a shirt and some shoes on, grabbed my walking stick used to hike up Mt. Mulanje, and went outside. In the distance I saw the headmaster of our school patrolling with a bat in his hands. Another neighbor had his kids camping in the front yard. He ran out and told tell them to get inside. Next to me, I heard 3 security guards creeping through the bushes. I approached them.
“Do you guys need help?” I asked.
“Yeah, we need people to help look” they replied. In America, security tells you to get back inside and wait. Not in Africa.
Knowing that the guards would have limited English, I ended the conversation there. I caught up with Tyler, and asked him what was going on. “A security guard saw 4 guys, dressed in black, hopping the wall onto our campus. We’re trying to find them” he told me. I ran to the girls house and asked them to bolt-lock their door. After the entire security force did a brief comb of the campus, we all met up. Details were shaky, but it sounded like they saw a few people in black climbing down from the water tower, adjacent to one of the campus walls. Right then GS4 (the private security force of the third world) showed up. GS4, ABC security guards, and the male staff that lived on campus now scoured the facilities. Everyone held some sort of weapon, and we handily outnumbered the 3 or 4 potential intruders.
After doing a more extensive search of the campus, no one was found. I went to bed at 2AM remembering my plans to go sailing tomorrow. It’s funny how something always seems to go wrong the night before I sail (last time I got that horrible fever). The next morning it was confirmed that the “guys coming down from the water tower” were just two of my friends that decided to explore the campus. There was too much confusion to conclude that the night before.