peeking in.


It seems that most everyone here feels some degree of curiosity about us. The educated ones want to know what life is like in the West…do men help their wives with household chores…how do you get your children to eat well…how do we discipline…what is a marriage relationship like etc.

Everyone is curious to see what we eat, how we set up a house, how our washing machine works, what its like to cook on a gas stove every day, how we sleep, when I wean my kids, what we wear, what we do at night after we shut the door, what we watch, what we read, what toys and gadgets we have, what we buy at the store or at the market, and so on. I’ve talked about the fish bowl before.

Actually come to think about it, I’m curious about how they do the same things. But I don’t peep in windows or sit and watch at beaches…well maybe the second one I do. But I’ve learned that of course there is a cultural line here, and peeping can go too far.

I’ve learned this because we’ve had a peeper. A peeping Tom. One morning, several weeks ago, I woke really really early. Before dawn. Before the morning call to prayer. So I laid in the dark and enjoyed the quiet and prayed. I must have drifted because the next thing I knew there was some lightning going off…or what I thought might be a camera flash or a flashlight. Michael sat up and slammed the window shut. He’d seen a face in the window, and knew the person was trying to open the window, and move the curtain aside.

We were a little weirded out, but not one hundred million percent sure it couldn’t all be explained away. The next morning we moved the stacked wood into the rafters so it wouldn’t be so easy to peek in our window, and mostly forgot about it.

Several nights later the kids who I’ve been teaching to read were heading home and saw “Tom” peaking in our windows. They chased him off. The next morning we found a hole he’d put in the fence and repaired it. We also found a cracked water pipe that he’d been standing on. Now we were one hundred and ten percent so we started telling people like our next door neighbor. And we put up a light in the back.

That night when Michael went to tie up our dog in the back he saw “Tom” again and scared him off. Now the word is out everywhere, and a lot of people came by to give us advice.

“don’t fix the hole in the fence, but put spikes there so he’ll hurt himself and we’ll know who it is.” 

“don’t put the dog back there or turn on the light, and then when he comes one of us will shoot him with an air gun so we know who he is.”

“put a live wire back there so he gets electrocuted and then we can take him to the police.”

We have’t done any of it, of course. But it did give us a chance to get to know the guy in charge of keeping the peace here. He’s a really neat guy. He has assured us that it won’t happen again…and it hasn’t.

We have been so grateful to our Father, that we have felt peace, and haven’t been overwhelmed by fear throughout the whole process. 


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