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Published: September 8th 2009
I am still in Port Vila and have been here for about a week. Before I came here I was in Santo for a week doing some work on my Masters Intl project. I came to Port Vila for a safety and security meeting because right before I left for Santo I had some more issues with creeping. I think I explained before but "creeping" is what guys do here when they like a girl. They go to her house in the middle of the night and "singout" to her to let him inside the house. Sometimes the guy and girl agree to meet in the night, but often times the guy just comes without any warning because he likes the girl. There is no dating here and everything is done very much behind close doors. There's no display of affection even among married couples, it's very strange. In most cases people just seem to get married because that's whats expected and you need to find someone you sort of like, get married, and have kids. Anyway, I had had a creeping incident in March with a creeper who lives in a closeby village and he came to my house around midnight, said he wanted to have sex, and threatened to come inside my house. He also tried to get me to come outside and in attempt to convince me he said "it would be very quick" which I thought was funny. I got rid of him by calling some of my neighbors and he ran away. I later found out who it was and we had a whole sorry ceremony and a fine. He was very "shamed' and I felt a lot safer knowing that he wouldn't do anything again.
About 5 months later, the week before I left for Santo I had 3 more creeping incidents in one week. I had just gotten back on Monday from Southwest Bay and traveling around for my tourism work. Then Tuesday we had a fundraiser a the RTC, just selling food all day. That night I had a guy come to my house. It was very early like 7:30 PM but sadly that's around when I'm getting ready for bed since I don't have electricity there's not much to do. So I usually do pilates, read, and go to sleep. So this guy comes to my window and says to open the door, he wants to talk to me. I asked him who he is and tried to torch him through the window but he was hiding and wouldn't say who he was, which I don't understand because if I opened the door like he requested I would find out who he was. Anyway I told him to go away and that I wasn't going to open the door. So a few nights later around the same time he did the same thing, but as I was shining the light through the window I caught a glimpse of only his arm and saw he was wearing a black TShirt, somewhat muscular, and his arm was kind of shiny. The third night he came back he was a little more persistent. He came a little later around 8:30 and claimed that he was the other guy who creeped me last time in March. He kept telling me to open the door and I told him to go away, I wasn't going to open the door. He threatened to cut my screens on my windows to get inside, and I was starting to call my neighbors for help but he ran away.
Even though he claimed he was this other guy, I'm pretty sure he was lying because i saw his arm and the other guy is really scrawny and his voice didn't really sound like him from what I remember.
So I told the story to my RTC manager and host papa the next day and just as we were chatting outside my house ,the chief of my village walks by to use the water pump wearing a black Tshirt. The manager and I look at each other like hmm could it be? Then he tells me that the chief also works copra behind my house. He had been working there all that week I had noticed and it would have been easy for him to just sneak on over once it got dark. Now the chief is my main suspect in this creeping although I would like to think it's not him, being the chief and having a wife and small baby at home. But all the clues point to him. He's only 25 but because of the chiefly system- his father was chief and he's the first born male- that makes him chief. He's also been away on another island Ambae until about a month ago so he doesn't know me that well and wasn't around for the other meeting with the creeper.
I still haven't had this security meeting which is why I'm here in Port Vila to discuss what I can do when I go back to my site. After being in Santo for a week and here a week I am ready to go back to my site. Once I go back to my site I'm going to have a girl sleep in my house every night to prevent any more creepings and make me feel safe.
There are a lot of things in this culture that I still don't understand and probably won't ever understand and creeping is one of them. I don't understand how a guy thinks that going to a girl's house late at night and scaring her half to death is good way to pick her up.
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