The best part of today was my visit to see Elmer, who appears happy and energetic and very very plump. I loved watching his tail madly wagging and his unending wish for acknowledgment and attention. I have missed having a dog in my life.
The most uncomfortable part of my day made me want to run back to Quito and hide. Our renters have bought a new home and want to break their lease and not pay their rent. Appealing to their sense of decency and honesty does not appear to be working. I spoke to friends and colleagues and real estate agents and the advice is consistent, which is that I must contact a lawyer and pursue this legally, which feels adversarial and threatening. I avoided calling the three names on my list of lawyers until later in the day when none were available, which forces me to take care of this during my last day before I return to Ecuador.
I realize that part of what makes my stay in Ecuador so appealing is that I have been living in an alternate universe. I have not been faced with the daily challenges of work and business and contracts. My focus has been on the beauty and culture and adventure of the country (not oblivious to the significant problems) and perhaps not working and not having money has made my life simpler and calmer. A visit to Baltimore forces me to face the dishonesty of our renters and my former secretary and of course Goldman Sachs and the entire financial industry!
And so I want to return to Quito and keep living my simple life. It has taken time, but I feel that I have figured out how to live there. When I first arrived, I felt threatened and insecure; somehow with time and experience, especially with learning the language, I feel more confident and less of a stranger. I will appreciate these last few weeks in my adopted country.