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Stay vigilant be safe



It's challenging to always be alert, especially in places where we feel secure like our home, work place, the corner cafe or the alley we walk every day.

We feel safe and comfortable with our daily routines therefore we disconnect and forget to glance around once in a while to make eye contact with people, to look out for unusual things or to observe the cars parked on the street.

There are many causes of our naiveté: our phones, our plans and tasks, a bad night's sleep, and for some of us, our toddlers.

We should feel secure, happy and comfortable with our ordinary lifestyle.  Although a little alertness while jogging the same trail you always run, won't hurt anyone.  Also, varying the times and days you do something habitual, might save you a scare one day.  

Having lived in Chad, I know what it's like to be uncomfortable walking about.  There I never really walked more than a few times through the outdoor market.  At least, not after a random Chadian once started touching my hair and shoulders.  Thank God I wasn't alone.
  
In Angola I walked a lot with my toddler.  I even ran outdoors a few times.  I never carried a purse or lots of money in the streets, I wore worn-out clothes and carried my pumpkin on my back.  I tried to blend in as well as I could.  I spoke Portuguese and I practiced a few daily security rules.  Varying my routes and the times I left or entered my home and some other little tricks.

In the USA at the moment and follow a similar protocol.  I try to be unpredictable.  I like to board the last metro car.  I make eye contact with people on the street and I try not to use my phone when I walk, which I will admit it is very hard not to do.  Now that I've got the Apple watch Siri is very helpful, she has even learned my name. 

Be alert and when in doubt don't hesitate to call the authorities.  


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