Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today was another HOT day! The temperature was pushing 90 and the humidity was in the 70% range. The worst, though, was there was very little breeze most of the day. I moved the loom outside under the lattice roof of the terrace this morning and worked outside. Finally a small breeze came up during the early afternoon.

We have always felt welcome, safe and secure here. The locals are reserved at first, but when they know you will be neighbors and want to interact with them, they open up. We have also found the storekeepers to be extremely honest and helpful. Several times we have left the grocers without checking out bag, only to find items missing. The store people have always had the missing items out for us when we arrived the following day. They even chased us down one day while we were still in town when we forgot a bunch of platanos. At the laundry one day, we went to pick up our laundry and they told us one of my shirts had gone out with someone else's laundry. They tracked it down and had it waiting for me the next time we were there.
The shoemaker repaired a pair of flip-flops for me. When I asked him how much I owed him, he said just a soda. I paid him S/.5 and later took him an Inca Kola. I bought fish from one of the fisherman in the market, but only had a S/.50 bill. He didn't have change, so I told him I was going to buy ice and I would return with his payment. No problem. So imagine our surprise when a kilo and a half of fish disappeared from the bed of our pick-up as we gathered stuff for the workers for the day. The value of the fish was $2.50 so it wasn't a big deal; but it surprised us. Someone obviously needed it more than we did. It was a disappointment and a lesson learned.

As far as the construction goes, the workers continued to work on the upper beams for the master suite. They finished tying the rebar and began to build the forms for the concrete. They might get everything ready for a pour tomorrow, but it might be the next day. These workers are amazing. They may not make what seems like huge progress everyday, but they are relentless. They are constant in their work. We brought them each a cold Pepsi from town this morning which they really appreciated.

One of the workers broke out part of a wall in the kitchen. The plans called for a window just above the level of the cabinets, but when the brick layer worked on the walls, he missed this and built it ceiling height. One of the few mistakes we've caught.

Other workers were working on the floor of the swimming pool. They were pouring another layer of concrete and smoothing it out. I think the tiles will be laid on top of this layer. The pool looks really huge right now. Of course, it really is for a private residence, but I will sure enjoy swimming laps when it is done. For me, swimming is laps. The smaller pools I encounter are good for cooling off; for a brief dip. Swimming though is just that; swimming across distances. Certainly an indulgence for me.

Yet other workers were working on the wall at the back of the piano room/bar and getting forms built for the sides. Once the sides are poured, they will be able to fill in behind it for the kitchen floor.

I am now able to stand by one of the buildings and visualize the final product. Things are really starting to come together. Koki will be here tomorrow and he is supposed to arrive with the wood for the roof. I think the carpenter will be coming with him.

This upcoming week is Easter week. It is a vacation week for many Peruvians. George will be coming up to El Nuro with some friends for the week. Doug and I haven't found other accommodations yet, but if worse comes to worst, we will camp out on our own property.

We also contracted with a local maestro to move some piles of dirt. One large pile is on the ocean side of the swimming pool. Equipment operators have bid the job, saying they would have to tear down part of the fence to load the dirt into trucks on the roadway. This local maestro will hire a crew of six workers to move the dirt wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow over the next three days for about $400. I figure that's about $7.50 a day for each worker. Hard to imagine.

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