Friday, January 29, 2010

29 January 2010

Today was very HOT! We were out at the property by 10:00 this morning. The equitorial sun was very strong and there was very little breeze. When we got back to the room at 2:00 this afternoon, the thermometer said it was 83 degrees with 73% humidity. I actually think the hottest part of the day is just before noon.

Today was a big milestone for the construction. They were pouring the cement for the roof of the service zone. Much of yesterday afternoon was devoted to preparing for the pour. First they built supports for the roof. Across the top of these poles, they laid slats of wood. And spanning the gaps between the boards, they laid the roofing tiles. Between each row of tiles there was rebar. Forms had been built around the edges. Also before pouring, the conduit for the electrical lines were put in. After all this preparation, it was time to pour.

The mix was made in the mixer. Workers filled their 5 gallon pails with cement and hoisted it up on their shoulder. Then they climbed a plank up to the rooftop and poured their bucketfull between the brick tiles. There were about seven workers in the line from mixer, to rooftop, back to mixer. Constant motion. Once they begin this kind of pour, they have to continue until they are done.

Traditionally, the workers get "chicha" at the end of the pour and the rest of the afternoon off. The chicha is a Peruvian drink made of fermented corn; basically a corn beer. We went into El Nuro and Los Organos but couldn't find any chicha. We finally settled on a case of quart bottles of beer.

Today was Georg's birthday. We were invited to El Refugio for the celebration. They had roasted a baby pig in a large adobe pizza oven. The meat was so tender and so moist; probably the best pork I've had. Good friends, good food, good drink.

Georg also has arranged for me to get a Nextel internet connection. Our current system is through Claro. Apparantly, Claro works very well in Lima, but in this territory it becomes very slow and less functional because the Claro towers aren't the same in the north. However, with Nextel, you get the same service here as you would in Lima. We completed the paperwork tonight so should receive the modem next week. Finally, we should be able to use the new computer we purchased in Lima in early January. We've finally figured out that the Claro modem is not compatible with the Windows 7 system.

We also talked to Georg about the use of his house when school starts for his kids in March. He again offerred the use of his vacation home while we continue construction on our house. It will be so very nice to be back out there, in our "own" space. As much as we enjoy Jay and Caroline, we have both found it difficult to find a groove here in Vichayito.

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