Rise Up Like a Lion

leo monolulu 004

Our house in San Jose was burgled in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Our 99 year old neighbour telephoned us and then the police. She has a sense of priorities.

The police in Costa Rica are not an homogeneous force….the grunts on the ground are the Fuerza Publica (the Public Force)…known to our friends as the Fuerza Floja (the Floppy Force) whose role is to arrive on the scene, and make an inspection.
Normally they neither arrive nor make an inspection…there are exceptions of course, but generally they are useless.
Reminds me of our local Gendarmerie in France where someone had hung a notice on the gate to their offices reading ‘Do Not Disturb’.
So the Fuerza Floja didn’t come and didn’t inspect.

My husband answered the telephone and I saw a metamorphosis.
He is a pensioner…has been ill for years…but he rose up like a lion.
No, I was not to go…..it would upset me. He would deal with it.
He is an old fashioned man – very protective.

He called Danilo and they went to the house.
The bars protecting the house had been sawn through – the burglars invisible from the street.
Things thrown about, shit everywhere….the defilement of intrusion.

While Danilo started on repairs, Leo got to work.
He contacted the specialist police, the OIJ (like the CID), who were both efficient and sympathetic.
Every line was followed up…fingerprints, DNA and the Muni’s surveillance cameras which were, of course, not loaded.
So much for our local taxes.

He had the bars replaced and security lights and razor wire installed that very day.
Expats, immigrants, call them what you will tend to moan that you can’t get Costa Ricans to do anything in a hurry – but these chaps came out and set to work at once.
Perhaps it helps that they too use the local taxi drivers’ caff where we go for lunch.
The lady serving at the caff offered to clean the house and came round when she had finished work.
For added security she offered the services of one of her sons as night watchman complete with machete and two pit bulls.
I’ve met his dogs – nice animals unless startled, at which point you need to make a getaway at the speed of light if you don’t want your trousers shredded in unusual places.

He obtained estimates for the major repairs which will be carried out on Monday.

Flushed with his success he stopped off at the market and arrived home laden with vegetables, cheese and bacon, calling for beer.
He was a new man – or more accurately, the man he was before illness struck him.
Smiling, happy, confident.
Yes, the burglary was a nuisance…but not the end of the world.
Nothing he couldn’t deal with.

Leo may not have eaten of the prey and drunk the blood of the slain (Numbers 23:24), much though he would have wished to do so – but I am so proud of him.

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55 thoughts on “Rise Up Like a Lion”

  1. Rotten luck, having burglars. The thought of having their hands rifling through ones prized possessions leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

    But Leo came to the rescue, your knight in shining armour making all well again. And urging ‘the little woman’ to stay safe away from the fray. I bet he feels as proud of himself as you are of him.

    Give that man a medal – or at least a pat and a hug.

    1. Why do they see fit to defecate in inappropriate places, I wonder.

      Despite his legs giving him gyp today after all his exertions I think he is quite pleased with himself….and rightly so.

  2. Fabulous stuff — good on him for rising to the occasion so magnificently. And how kind all your San Jose neighbours have proved to be. That is what you will remember, not the burglary per se.

  3. Rising to the occasion, as if he’d never left. A stomach churning event. Worse, you won’t realize all you’ve lost until you reach for some old thing and it’s gone, too.

      1. My old house was burgled by young thieves. They stripped away so much. The immediate heart wrenching item–the kitchen shelf clock my husband’s grandmother gave me. Why? Then ten years later I rummaged in the back of a drawer to find the watch my parents gave me when I was 21, to honor my daughter at 21. The bastards. The swine. Apparently one never gets over it.

        I am so sorry.

  4. Sounds like your husband really came out tops here but you can do without the intrusion!! Nothing worse than a break in and a theft.

    You should try the police in what was Rhodesia , and possibly worse now that it is Zimbabwe. Phone them for a break in, murder or whatever and they used to say, sorry no transport, if you want us to come out you had better come and pick us up!!

    Hope the rest of the week is better. Take care both of you, Diane.

  5. So there was a marvelous outcome in the face of incredible odds! How so much like your life! I’m very very glad that you and Leo are okay. The rest is just ‘stuff,’ although I know you’ll miss it. The generosity of your neighbors is an incredible story in and of itself as well. Rest easy.

  6. Oh great stuff! No wonder you’re proud of him! All sorted in no time and how nice of neighbours and friends to offer help :-).

    Rotten things burglaries. We were burgled 4 times in 3 yrs when we lived in Denmark – police never did a thing.

    1. He did wonderfully well…really got things organised.
      His impression was that the OIJ were interested and might have some idea as to whom…but the Fuerza Floja are worse than useless, just like the local Gendarmerie where we lived in France.
      Horrible to have things pawed over and wrecked, let alone stolen, but weren’t we lucky that our elderly neighbour gave the alarm.

  7. Bravo! It will take more than the unctuous actions of these filthy poltroons to halt the rising blood of such a magnificent fellow. Sometimes, anger and a thirst for blood is just the panacea we, as men, crave. Do let me know if I can assist you both further in any way.

    1. Yes, the blood was stirring there, all right! If he’d had the chance to come up with them I think they might have had a shock or two….greeted with a Glasgow kiss, perhaps.
      Thank you for your kind offer….I still have the brother in law outstanding…

  8. Cometh the hour, cometh the man (although not necessarily cometh the police).Sorry you’ve suffered at the hands of thieves but sounds like you both unbowed.

  9. So sorry to hear about your burglary…it’s a horrible feeling and it really does sound as though you were better off out of it, but rightly proud of your man for dealing with the details. Hopefully, the pit bulls will have the chance to show what they can do to the perpetrators.

  10. I’m guessing not only proud but thrilled to see the old Leo back in action, Helen. It’s just a rotten shame that it took something as unpleasant and upsetting as a burglary for him to be able to demonstrate that he can still deal with a crisis. I know it’s just stuff that has gone, but it’s your stuff and your memories. Looking on the bright side, your neighbours are pure gold and you still have them.

  11. I hope the burglars choke on their drugs. I feel for you, being burgled is the pits. Losing stuff into the hands of some drugged up loser must be pretty painful.

    The only silver lining is that it galvanised Leo and inspired lots of action. The defecation though… I hope if there’s a next time they’ll get a pitbull up their backside!

    1. Yes you are quite right…to think of things that gave us so much pleasure over the years being sold for drugs is distinctly foul.

      Oh yes…a pitbull applied to their backsides would be wonderful…

  12. You can be well proud of your Leo. I hope that the burglars get caught, then you can string them up in the garden with their underpants on their heads. I have a feeling that if your neighbours were so reactive, it’s because you’re not “just” expats, you’re integrated expats that they appreciate as neighbours. I hope that everything gets back to normal quickly.

    1. Our 99 year old neighbour is a wonderful lady…lives alone by choice, rules her family with a rod of iron and has been kindness itself to us.

      It’s a bit like ‘more people know Tom Fool than Tom Fool knows’…we didn’t know we knew so many people until trouble struck.
      I could have done with coming to that realisation by more pleasant means though.

  13. Having been the victim of a couple of burglaries when I lived in England I know how horrible it feels. But well done Leo for dealing with this crisis. No wonder you’re proud of him. And lovely neighbours too xx

    1. Yes, it is horrible….not just the loss but the damage and the filth.
      Still, that’s burglary for you.
      I couldn’t have organised everything as quicly as he did…he was absolutely brilliant.

  14. Helen, I am very sorry to hear about the burglary. Your response (and Leo’s) are brave and inspiring. What a hero!

    Your neighbours sound kind and good, too. Not that it makes things okay but at least it shows that most people are not hateful losers who steal and defile others. There is something to be said for putting people in the stocks and pelting them with rotten fruit.

    I have been meaning to respond to your last post, but have hardly been at the computer and my phone is limited (as is my ability to stab the right key on its touch screen with my sausage like finger). More later, though! .

    1. I can’t claim any credit…he did the lot!

      No, I agree, most people are decent – but they don’t make the news, do they!

      Don’t mention ‘phones and fingers….it’s a miracle if I get a ‘phone number entered correctly, let alone try anythingmore complex.

  15. Sorry your place was mussed-up and things stolen.But good grief! what a man you have there!
    Well done, Sir!
    And kudos to the neighhbour and cafe lady, too.
    Stay safe,Helen.

  16. Ugh. sorry to hear about the robbery, but glad to hear about the quality of the OIJ in your area, as well as all your neighbors, friends, and sig others. When there was a shooting on our place (long story) our local OIJ just asked, “Is there a lot of blood out there?” That was the extent of their ‘investigation.’ But, in their defense, it was dusk-ish and the mosquitoes were blooming… and they would have had to walk w–a–y out there in the jungle to see the scene of the crime. Yes, all 200 meters. Needless to say, the caliber of the OIJ fluctuates wildly in this country. The Fuerza Floja, not so much. 😉

    1. The OIJ were quite impressive….the FF much as expected!

      Out here in the sticks it is much the same, except the OIJ don’t have the same resources as in San Jose. There is one conscientious chap in the local FF…but as for the rest if you expect action you might as well, in the words of an old boy overheard in my youth, shit in your hat.

  17. Well done Helen & Leo all sorted in record time, just what we are trying to avoid here, hurra por grandes vecinos, hope you are both well.

    1. He is indeed!

      The kindness of neighbours, workmen and the OIJ was very welcome. I think most people are decent and kind – shame about those who society allows to fall through the cracks.

  18. Not for nothing is his name Leo. What a hero, no wonder you are so rightfully proud of him.

    As for the burglary, just horrible, I am terribly sorry. Even if I can understand people driven to steal to support their drug habit, it is impossible to imagine why they need to defecate in a stranger’s property. That is so malicious and hateful. I hope they are caught.

  19. So sorry to hear about your burglary – silver linings aside, it’s horrible to lose things burnished by cherished memories and loving use.

    Is that Leo with your rescue horse in that lovely picture? They look so relaxed and happy together. May your moments like that far outnumber moments like this burglary.

    1. Yes, we’re both upset about what has been taken or ruined…nothing will bring them back.

      It is a happy photograph, isn’t it! This is horse number two…a young man has had some problems making ends meet so horse is staying with us for a while until he can get things together again. A kindly beast who had adopted Leo as his pet….

  20. What a lovely husband you have, Helen, and wonderful neighbours as well…I am sorry for all of your lost things as well as the mess and aggravation. Best to you both and I hope the home security system works well.

    1. I rather like a home security system that bites….but I’m sorry that we have had to install it under such circumstances. It’s very depressing…but nothing we can do to replace what has gone.
      Thank you for your kind wishes…yours and those of others provide a welcome balm.

  21. What a horrible thing to happen, I am so very sorry. But how nice to have such a force to be reckoned with to deal with the aftermath! Hopefully the razor wire will rip future intruders new holes from which to defecate in inappropriate places – it’s the least they deserve…

    1. Yes, i’d like to line them up, blow a whistle and send them ‘over the top’. Pity i don’t have any shell craters full of water for them…

      No,no! Be careful what I wish for…given that the ring road round the capital has collapsed in several places due to sinkholes i remove the last bit of the wish!

  22. What horrors ! After a burglary in England about 20 years ago, I vowed never to own anything again that I would hate to lose…..that lasted about 10 minutes. Leo and your friends and neighbours are superstars though, and you are pretty amazing to be able to see the good things that have happened due to the nastiness of others. I hope Leo is feeling better by now, but still basking in your admiration.

    1. He’s now had an attack of shingles…probably down to the stress…but works are in hand.
      I’m very miserable about the losses….but on the non material side there have been a lot of gains.

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