To rephrase R. H. Tawney, justice for the pike gargles balls for the minnows.

We lost against Danielle Charles. More specifically, the provincial prosecutor closed our case after she received a threat from what we are told is a “higher power”. No, not God, though I suspect if Bruce Almighty had overseen our complaint, Danielle might not have thought twice to offer a duffel stuffed with cash.

I mean that a politician of considerable sway intervened on Danielle’s behalf, and we were done in an instant. This, after we brought the court photographic evidence of Danielle bribing the forensic accountant I hired to write a report on her dicey finances.

So, the pike received her justice-cum-political favour. Now she lies in wait, literally every day, at the entrance to our community, for the minnows who brought her this close to an Ecuadorian prison.

Which is how we find ourselves on a finca, several hours from our home at Mirador San Jose. Perhaps this is overly precautious. It seems so to me, but why feed the troll?

Campo life isn’t bad. In fact, it’s downright paradisical. I tell my friend Luis, who checks in daily, that the only grief we face is from angry chickens. One rooster, in particular, who might be the actual spawn of Satan. He looks like someone throttled a down pillow, threw it into the muck, and it reanimated as a pissed-off bird. The thing is not of this world.

Livin’ the Campo Life

I am enjoying the quiet. I am enjoying the more-than-notable absence of stress from living at Rancho Loco. There are fruit trees and sometimes fresh eggs. For company, we have three skittish donkeys and an uncomfortably large bathroom spider who ventures out at night to eat the ants off our walls. She triggers something in my monkey brain that I don’t especially enjoy. But I’m learning to live with her.

We also have the farm hand and his family, who occupy a house on the hill above us. My Spanish amuses him. We plan to build a paddock for the donkeys.

Eventually, I think, Danielle will tire of her silly power trip at the front gate and return to the more lucrative task of bilking saps of their savings. When that happens, maybe, we will go back to our house. Maybe we won’t. We like this part of the country. There are possibilities here. Retirement 2.0 could take us in an entirely unanticipated direction.

What I know for certain is that I will post no more about this fecal smudge of a human being. She’ll get hers in the end. They all do, eventually. Look upon my works, ye Mighty, etc.

Our story in Ecuador is extreme, but it is not uncommon. Newcomers would do well to bear this in mind: Where there are people with dreams, and money to spend on them, there will also, of course, be grifters. We attract them, and they are oh-so-very charming – until they are not. I pray you don’t find yourself at the wrong end of that sudden realization.

If you’re contemplating Ecuador, watch your step. That’s all I have left to say on this subject.

Avoid the angry chicken.