Settling in the Tropics
DOI link for Settling in the Tropics
Settling in the Tropics book
One of the most pressing matters for the Backhouse household was finding a permanent place to call home. Dalrymple, who knew the city well and spoke perfect Spanish, proved helpful in this quest. One of the most striking and attractive aspects of El Cerro were its gardens. The Swedish visitor and prolific writer Fredrika Bremer remarked, significantly, that the village was “composed of gardens with their little dwellings.” The ethnic, status, gender, and age composition of the service proved highly diverse, which added to its instability and volatility. The Backhouses complained repeatedly about their servants’ carelessness and dishonesty. On balance, the process of settling in El Cerro and getting used to the setting and its people turned out to be traumatic and full of surprises for the Backhouse family. Shortly after their arrival, George and Grace began to signal their disillusionment.