It is pretty late for me to be working right now, but I can’t sleep due to the affects of anger, alcohol, and sweet Cuban tobacco. First let me explain what is going on so that some of you can understand the story.
When I moved to Latin American I moved into a building that has a resident cleaning woman. I am still very uncomfortable with the term “maid,” even though this is the standard parlance used. Nancy lives in our building, has 2 kids, and charges a lot more than other empleadas, because she lives in a building completely rented to foreigners and thus knows she can charge a higher wage. And guess what? I do not care! I can afford it, and the $85 a month Michele and I pay to get out our apartment thoroughly cleaned and all of our laundry done is more than affordable for us.
Well tonight I heard a horrific story about Nancy and her family. About a year ago she got into business with a loan shark. She borrowed $5000.00 gave it to a loan shark in an effort to recuperate the loan via the 10% monthly interest, and just as she started to get an annual paycheck from the guy died.
How did the 75 year old money lender who feeds off the poorest people die you ask? Well he had a heart attack while he was fucking his 23 year old mistress. There were no records of his dealings and all people who bought a stake in his “business” were left without being able to recuperate their principle contribution. My cleaning woman is now $5000 in debt!
The average wage fluctuates in Ecuador, but at the moment it is about $500 for a family per month. Her husband has decided to leave and work off the loan as immigrant labor in Spain starting next week. He will leave his family for approximately two years, where Nancy will have to hope he sends money back, while raising two kids in a one bedroom apartment, in a building with a ton of affluent foreigners.
I hate being disappointed with humanity.