Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good Story or Truth - Your Thoughts

The other night, Holly and I were walking about town looking for a spot to eat. We saw this decent looking hotel with a restaurant so we checked it out. When we went in there was a church service going on, but one guy got up and came to help us find another spot to get some food. He even sat down to eat with us so right off we were wondering what was up. We just thought he was trying to promote his business, but we were unsure. He seemed nice enough. After we ate he let us go and we thought... That was it, we actually just met a nice guy who wanted to help.

That was not it though...

The next evening he came to our hotel looking for us. He even waited at the gate till we walked by. He then began to tell us his story. How when he went back to the service he found out that his little girl had been hit by a motor bike and had to go to the hospital for a broken leg. He then started to cry for us saying that it was his only little girl. Following that he finally came to the point that we knew was forthcoming. He could not afford the hospital bill and had not purchased insurance (which is only $25 a year). He then said the bill was for $34 and that he was able to pay $25, but needed our help for the last $10. Being a bit skeptical myself of anyone that approaches me I asked for the medical bill. He brought the following back to me in about an hour.

Bills from the ministry of health that looked 2 years old and with dates that were altered and no breakdown of costs that we had asked for. It was just a receipt for $12 that was scribbled out then written $25 over top. Very sketchy... We then asked the man from our hotel and he said don't mind him... maybe give him a couple Cedis if you want... He will probably use it for something else.

In the end we gave him gave him 5 Cedis ($5) almost just to get him off our back as we did not feel that his story was real. Especially after we talked to a few other people around. When we did give him the bit of cash he was not even thankful for that at first. He was like where is the full amount. In the end he did give us a bit of a thank you that did not really feel sincere.

What is your though? Do you think he was for real and we were jerks for not giving the full amount? or that he was fake and we supported yet another defrauder as I have done all to many times?



Grumpy said...

Personally, I would have done as you did. I have been on trips to India, where the child beggars are numerous. I always have a pocket full of small denomination money to give them, everyone said that they were simply con artists. But, all I know is I slept better having given them something. The days I decided to be hard and not give anything to the beggars, I saw their faces in my sleep. It is better to sleep well having been taken advantage of, than to lose sleep to save a few dallars.

Anonymous said...

definitely fake. however, if $5 will buy you some piece of mind, then money well spent.

perhaps a copy of the medical receipt can be used as a charitable donation for your '09 tax return?!?!?


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with your intuition. I think that hotel is a good place to scout out "kind-hearted souls". BUT I would have given him some small amount for peace of mind, just as you did!
Aunt Cindy

AllisonTaylorPhotography said...

I agree with Cindy. I would have done the exact same thing. I actually(gullible me)would have given him the whole amount. It just seems a little odd to me, if he was really someone who was hard up for money, that he would go to lunch with you and buy that and have money.. but then come back later on for that. Just a thought.

I think you did the right thing though! Hope you guys are having fun... it looks amazing!


Jon Barrett said...

I may have spun the story a bit biased in my direction as I read it again. I really liked how he kept saying he could not lie since he was a Christian. "It is impossible for me to lie, I am a Christian" he kept telling us. Being a christian myself I know that yes it still is possible to lie.

barry-eh said...

Wow, tough one. Hard to know what to do sometimes. I think you did the right thing. It seems fishy that he tracked you down from the previous day, but didn't tell you his story until the second day. I guess that you spent time trying to show concern was a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Sounded pretty sketchy to me as well. 1st thing that jumped out at me was, why would he leave his daughter alone at a church service to go eat with strangers, and why wouldn't his church help him out with the hospital bill? I would have done what you did, give a couple bucks to get him off your back. And Christians have the ability to lie as much as anyone else!

Anonymous said...

If a ruse, it was elaborate enough to be worth $10. At $5 you got a steal of a deal for a good story. Keep posting lots of pictures. Looks like you are having fun.