07162018Mon
Last updateFri, 13 Jul 2018 7am

Ajijic house sitter fascinates audiences with tales of travel, politics, refugees … and house sitting

“I doubt if anybody would call me boring,” quips Kelly Hayes-Raitt, after making a presentation to some 50 people at a meeting of Democrats Abroad in Ajijic. 

She has been asked if a thirst for adventure motivates her sojourns to countries such as Mongolia, China and Vietnam, just described in a speech whose only visual aids were a hand-drawn map of Asia and a bright blue t-shirt publicizing the election campaign of a female, Mongolian member of parliament.

But, although adventure is clearly a product of Hayes-Raitt’s lifestyle, one soon discovers that her underlying motivation is something quite different. It isn’t even, primarily, the opportunity to live for free as she house and pet sits in exotic locales (including for several months in Ajijic for the past seven years), a subject that is the focus of her upcoming book, “How to Become a House Sitter – Insider Tips from the House Sit Diva.”

She reveals her true motivation in comments, at first puzzling, that came at the end of our interview, after I thought we had already covered all the important points.

“I’d like to mention about going to Baghdad in 2003, five months before the U.S. invasion, and then going back three months later to find the people who had touched me so deeply. And going in 2006 to the Middle East to work with refugees in Damascus, Beirut and the West Bank of Jordan.”

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