Lesson Learned

Monday April 7th, 2014

The Visitor

March 10, 11am. I do my walk to Mermejita Beach (the path that leads to it is pictured above). 1pm, I return to find my laptop stolen from the house. Along with the back up hard drive that was sitting next to it on the table. My bad, I left a window open. Modesto the caretaker is there. We do this thing with charades and the little Spanish I am beginning to be able to use. He tells me to call the police. I gesture that I do not know how to do that (note to self, might be a good idea to find out).  He leaves and returns in about 10 minutes with an interpreter, an American who now lives here. With him I am able to more fully explain how bad this is for me. They leave and I begin to bring out my phone and my Kindle to try and contact my bank and get my accounts locked down.

About an hour later Modesto returns. With him he has brought the newly elected mayor (his title is actually “President”), 4 on duty policemen, and another interpreter, this time a local village elder by the name of Eduardo.  Also his 3 year old son who sits quietly observing the proceedings.

I repeat the circumstances of the theft, and I also inform them of the program I had installed on the computer that will take a picture of the thief and report to me where the computer is (not exactly, but within a few miles) when it is next turned on and connected to the internet. When I am done Modesto proceeds to tell them that the thief was observed walking down the hill from the house with the laptop  under his arm by a road repair crew, who relayed his description to Modesto.  Might help.

I am so grateful to Modesto, it is hard to explain just how much his doing that means to me. In fact, this is a good time to mention just how helpful everyone here has been to me when things “Go Mexican”, that is, something happens that one might consider to be frustrating. I of course tell them it is the same where I come from. Things happen.

After about an hour, they all leave and I go back to trying to deal with mitigating the serious potential damage that could be done should the thief actually turn it on and start looking around on it. Later that week the full weight of the loss begins to sink in, as I remember all the recent activity (tax returns, documents, new and updated software, pictures lost, writings gone) I have undertaken with it since leaving Colorado in December.

My life was on that Macbook Pro, of course. Passwords, financial stuff, pictures, music, letters, tax returns, endless documents, Etc. Etc. So I spent a week canceling credit cards, talking to banks and my identity theft protection company, and resetting passwords using my Kindle and my phone, assisted (thank you!) by Theresa and Chris in the USA. That’s why I have been absent for a while. I’m back.

Today the replacement arrived. Lesson: Be very certain you have a backup of your laptop hard drive somewhere (mine was with Theresa and Chris in Colorado), so I only lost a few months worth of pictures and paperwork. And I do lock up the house now whenever I leave. Duh.

Author: RJMS

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