Wednesday, January 21, 2009

eviction

We had never been evicted until last month. We knew that our landlord did not like us. She had made various comments that implied as much. One time when I (Anna) was walking with 11-month old Moses on my back, she stopped me to ask was I not uncomfortable. I told her that I was not uncomfortable at all and pointed out that "everyone does it this way." She responded with: "well, I know they do it that way, but what about you?"

She also objected to us having chickens, to who our children played with, to the fact that our household helper stood up for herself and did not allow herself to be bullied. We should have seen the writing on the wall but didn't think that she could act on this kind of whim.

But she could.

And she did.

She intended to send us a letter informing us that she would not renew our lease and that we had to move out and never see us again but we insisted on a face to face meeting. She ensured that her lawyer was present at this meeting, lending herself legal credibility in the absence of moral credibility. In the course of discussing our options for moving, the lawyer said that most rentals were available through private dealers and "you don't move in those circles." This seemed to us like the true reason for our eviction. Somehow we had not courted the right favour, moved in the right circles, been proper enough. If we have harmed somebody, then we ask for forgiveness. But if these are the reasons, then we do not repent. If these are the reasons, then we have been effective missionaries.

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