Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Koki and his wife came in last night to help celebrate my birthday. I wanted to celebrate by taking friends out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Mancora. This guy makes the best seafood lasagne ever; and everything else we've had there has also been fabulous. It turns out that Antonio was leaving for Italy on the 28th and the restaurant would be closed on the 29th. So, we moved it up to the 26th. We ended up with 9 people and had a great time.

Work on the house continues. Tiles are being laid in the pantry and kitchen. Tiles for the rest of the house are at the property awaiting their turn. The glass blocks for the master bath are being put in. The glazier was here taking measurements for the windows and doors. And the carpenter is back putting up the rest of the roof on the master suite. Meanwhile, other workers continue to put on the smooth finish layer of cement on the beams for the kitchen/living room. Also, one of the walls for the bar area went up.

We lost three workers yesterday. Koki said he didn't feel they were working as hard as he thought they should; that production had fallen off. He said he sent them home for a week to rest. We have an inkling that there may be more to the story; but aren't quite sure what it is.

There has been a theft in the neighborhood. Georg's family also owns a bungalow on the road out to our place; between El Nuro and his vacation home. In the time we've been here, we've never seen anyone in residence. Sanchez does the maintenance and keeps up the garden. The other morning when he arrived, thieves had stolen four doors and a toilet and sink from one of the bathrooms. This same bungalow was robbed last year as well. Sanchez was quite upset and felt responsible. He ended up removing everything else that might be stolen from the bungalow and brought it back up here for storage. I felt badly for Sanchez; as he is so security conscious and so careful. I don't know how any one could hold him responsible as the bungalow is out of sight of Georg's property.

Crime is not a big issue in this area. For the most part, it consists of theft. In Los Organos, we don't hear about any problems but we did have some fish taken out of the back of the pick up. Mancora does have its problems as it is a mecca for tourists, and therefore thieves. Purse snatching is not uncommon and cameras have been snatched as well. There was, however, a rape on the Mancora beach this last week. As a result, the national police came in and fired much of the Mancora police force; siting corruption and ineptitude.

We will be moving, again. Georg and his family will be out in El Nuro for the first week in May. We'll move our stuff back up to Jay's. The good part of this is that we will have reliable electricity 24/7, hot water and refrigeration. The negative is that we won't be on site of the construction. We'll still be bringing food out for the workers, so will be visiting daily.

This third picture is taken from my studio. It looks a mess, huh! The two caverns are for the pool machinery. The cement deck connects the two main buildings. Underneath will be a couple of bathrooms; one accessible from the piano room and another from outside. Even as things progress, the mess seems to increase. I'm glad I don't have to clean it all up.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

The last couple of days have resulted in another visual jump in progress. Workers poured the cement for the upper beams around the dining room and living room. Other workers began working on the ceiling of the piano room; putting a final coat of cement on it. They also poured the footings for the bathrooms that go under the terrace between the two main buildings.

They also poured the floor for the studio. At this point, all of the walls in the master suite are finished as are most of the outside walls and beams. Doug will be installing the cabinets in the master bath in the next day or so.

Both buildings are ready for the rest of the roof. The floors in the kitchen/dining room, master suite and studio are all ready for tiles; which are supposed to arrive any time. Koki was busy today buying the toilets and fixtures.

Pepe, the one pictured here pouring cement, left the project today. He received a phone call and is needed back home. He lives another 6 hours beyond Chiclayo, up in the mountains. The travel to Chiclayo will take six to seven hours, so he has a long journey before he gets home. Pepe has been with us since the beginning of the project so it was sad to see him leave. I'm hoping he will be able to return before we finish up. He asked us for S./50 to help him out. We gladly gave it to him, even though we've been warned that this isn't a good practice. We both have talked about giving the workers a bonus at the end of the job, as they have put in so much work and most have been very loyal and steady.

This afternoon, Doug some of the workers into Los Organos. Some just want an afternoon in town, but some were returning to Chiclayo to see family and friends. Sure enough, another worker asked us for money; S/.10 this time. Both of us wondered what we had started.... I think we may just keep track of what we give out, and subtract from the bonuses we give later. It is so hard to not be generous with these guys; they earn about S/.40 a day.

Doug and I made plans to return to the US for a couple weeks starting in the middle of May. Our visas expire on the 12th and we needed to leave Peru to get them renewed. We'd planned an overnight to Guayaquil in Ecuador, but decided it was time to visit family and friends. We'll arrive in Oregon on the 12th and spend a week there. I want to travel to eastern Oregon to visit with Blaine and Holly. Then Doug and I will split up and go separate ways. I'll go to Chicago to see Mandy, and Doug will travel to Texas, Arizona and California to visit his family. I'll meet him in LA the night before we return to Peru. What we really need is a month to travel stateside to see more people! We didn't think we could leave the construction for that long..... or the dog....
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What a beautiful sunrise this morning! Even before the sun actually peeked over the hill, it's reflection was seen in oranges and pinks in the clouds. No rain this morning so it didn't start out muggy. Yesterday morning we had quite a rain shower; soaking everything. It was short lived, but the humidity remained at 80+% for most of the day.

Almost all of the interior walls in the kitchen/living room and for the master suite are finished. This first picture shows the view looking down into the studio from the master bedroom. The stairs going down will be located just behind the worker building this short wall.

Workers have also begun to frame the beams for the upper part of the living room. Today they were setting the rebar and tying it into place. Getting these beams done will be another milestone; the carpenter can then return to finish the roof. Tiles and ceramics are supposed to arrive tomorrow. Koki said he was trying to buy all the materials necessary for the second phase of construction and he was hoping to have it on site this week.

The electrician has been here all week; he has been digging ditches and laying in conduit for all the electrical connections. He's encountered some rock which he hasn't been able to remove; we'll see how he deals with that.

The pumps and other mechanical equipment for the pool should be here this week as well.

I finished my latest bath mat on the loom today. I won't start another project right away though, as it sound like we may have to move out yet again. Georg is coming with his family for the first week in May. Don't know if he'll want the house, but it kind of sounds like it. However, if we do move this time, I don't think we'll move back in. Despite the ideal location for us to monitor the construction, we've had so many other problems here we are thinking it isn't worth it.

We are off to dinner at Jay's. He's been working on a recipe for BBQ chicken that he wants us to try out. What cooking I've had of Jay's has been excellent, so I'm looking forward to dinner tonight.
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Monday, April 19, 2010

18 and 19 April 2010

Doug and I took a four kilometer walk along the beach toward El Nuro today. Stormy chased crabs and anything else that moved on the beach. Doug through rocks for her which she chased and sometimes returned. Often she would drop them in the surf, and they would be lost with the next wave. Stormy played hard and had a great time. We never encountered a soul on the beach; we were the only ones along this stretch. We stopped and took a swim on our way home. The water is a bit cool at first, but soon becomes very comfortable. We would swim out amongst the breakers and Stormy would try to come out to us. She has learned to be cautious of the breakers, so only goes as far as she can touch bottom.

Doug and Sanchez brought my loom back out of storage in Sanchez's quarters. It didn't take me long to be back to work on it. The last bath mat should be finished in the next day or so. Then ?, maybe I'll make some kitchen towels; some for me and some for Juana.

We met Caroline and Jay at Las Sirenas for dinner: this being a favorite restaurant for all of us . Caroline was feeling a bit under the weather, but we were thankful the opportunity to say our goodbyes.

We also went by our favorite Italian restaurant to schedule a birthday dinner for me. It turns out that Antonio will be traveling home to Italy to visit his mother, so won't be here for my birthday on the 29th. We decided that we would go ahead and celebrate on the 26th so we can have Antonio's seafood lasagne. Some friends will arrive on the 29th, so I'll be able to celebrate a second time with them!

I cut my finger with the cleaver about a week ago while trying to cut a lime. Unfortunately, it has now become infected. I have been soaking it in salt water and then applying Neosporin. So far it isn't any worse. Being vigilant is the key.

Today we went to Talara to have the 15K service done on the truck. We have had major problems with a loss of power; this being because of low quality fuel available to us here in the boondocks. We did have them replace the fuel filter and things seems to be better now. We also have a cracked windshield which we hope to have repaired soon. The insurance agency wanted the repair shop to provide an estimate; which they did. The insurance company will then approve (or not) the repairs. Things work differently here than they do in the states, which is not wonder. However, I am still having to do these negotiations in Spanish...and hopefully, I am understanding what's going on. You can't expect things to work the same as they do in the states, but that is all you are familiar with. The repair shop has provided the insurance company with an estimate of the cost for the replacement of the windshield. We are now waiting for the insurance company to approve the repairs.

While in Talara today waiting for the service on the truck, we went to the P.O. to send tax documents to the U.S., went to the bank to make a deposit, and stopped at a barber shop for Doug to get a haircut and a shave. Even after walking through the market a couple of times, we still had a couple of hours to kill. We sat in the "park"; dozing and waiting until 1:00 p.m. when we picked up the truck. They replaced the fuel filter, which helped to restore the power, the pick up and go we had when it was new. They tell us that the fuel available to us in Los Organos is not good and that this is why we have had such a loss in power. Going up the hills has been such a draggggggg. Hopefully having the fuel filter changed and buying fuel elsewhere, will work out. The nice thing about their scheduled maintance service is they will detail the car. With Stormy shedding white hair all over the back seat, this is an extremely welcome service for us.
Doug has been under the weather today. He has not been far from the toilet and has been having some rather severe cramps. He has been asleep since 3:00 this afternoon; almost 6 hours. This is so unusual for him. I did make him some chicken soup; but it has been sitting for some hours. I can only believe the sleep is doing him some good and that when he is ready, he will want some soup.
This evening, I went out and sat with Juana and Sanchez on the terrace at the edge of Georg's property. It is such a nice evening; cool breezes coming off the ocean and lower humidity than we've had for a long time. Apparantly there is a storm in the north, as we saw several flashes of lightening. And now, a couple of hours later, it is raining. And this isn't the spattering of moisture I've seen before, this is a rain. Everything smells so fresh!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Being Saturday, some of the workers finished up at noon, while some others continued to work throughout the afternoon. Many of those finishing up mid-day went home to Chiclayo and will return for work on Tuesday. Those staying will work another half day tomorrow.

Much of the work today focused on finishing the walls. They apply another layer of sand/cement mixture over the brick walls. They make several "markers" to get the correct the depth. They use the plumb bob to be sure the surface is straight up and down and will pull a string line from end to end to ensure the evenness of the wall. They then splatter cement onto the wall and smooth it out using square tubes of aluminum. The final finish is put on with paddles. I'm amazed at how even and smooth the walls end up even though they are done in sections.

The last two column of the dining room were framed and poured today. The next columns will be the ones for the water tower. Controversy or not, we will locate the water towers where we need to for adequate pressure and in a location we think will minimize the disruption to Georg's view. He won't like it, but we don't see any way around impacting his view in some way. We have kept all of the construction one meter below the floor level of his house. The only structure that will exceed this will be the water tower; which it must to provide the gravity feed pressure necessary for functioning showers and toilets.

The floor in the master bedroom has now been poured and is ready for tile. The tile is supposed to arrive sometime this next week. To me, this feels like another milestone in terms of progress. The tiles will go in for the upper level, while the cement is poured for the lower level. The carpenter is supposed to return this week to continue the roof out over the lower level.

We did not get to blog last night as we had both computer cables fried and couldn't get them to charge the computers. We don't know what is happening with the electrical system at Georg's, but obviously something is not right. The electrician was supposed to come back today, but we didn't see him. Given our experience, we've decided not to use power at Georg's to charge our computers and electronics. We do have a couple of generators that we might plug into, and hopefully they will deliver more reliable current. The upshot of this is that we will probably not be able to blog every night. Tonight we are at El Refugio, a local hotel, using their electricity to charge and blog by. So please be patient with us. We will blog when we can.

We went to Talara today to find new computer cables. The store had one cable that would work, and we will have to wait for another one to come in for the second lap-top.

While we were there, we stopped in at the vet's office. Stormy had numerous ticks in her ears that she would not allow us access to to remove. The vet removed them while Doug and I both held Stormy still. There was one spot on her head behind her ear he told me to rub which calmed her immensely. Good to know. So now, all the ticks are removed from her ears and her feet. He also noticed a lot of irregularity in her coat. He felt she had an allergy; probably to the ticks that she was breaking out from. He gave us some medication to give her with her food morning and night for the allergy. He also gave us a spray to treat her with for the ticks. What a pain! Hopefully this spray will do the trick. As it is, I am doing tick searches morning and night, trying to keep them under control.
Stormy doesn't seem particulary bothered by the ticks. She is happy, active and such a joy for us. She has such a nice temperament and has been very quick to learn her manners. When we walk, she generally heels quite well. She will sit and lay down on command. She will generally come when called, depending on whether she thinks you are wanting her toy or not!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wow, today was a lazy day. We did the usual shopping trip in the morning, and then... spent time in the hammock, read a book, took a nap, took a walk, spent more time in the hammock...cooked spaghetti for dinner and am now doing our usual computer time. It was also a hot day; we plan on moving the mattress outside tonight and sleeping out under the stars. Hope the bugs don't get too bad!

Construction advances. Most of the interior and exterior walls in the storage, pantry and kitchen have been finished. The wall separating the kitchen from the dining room went up and the crew began the foundation for the final layer.

In the master bath, they were pouring the cement floor. The central part here will be covered with wood flooring and the sides will be tiled. All the walls in the master suite are also finished. It is now 7:30 in the evening and there are workers still working in the master suite using a generator for light.

The form for the jacuzzi is finished and the last part of the wall for the master suite is now in. There will be a sliding glass door connecting the master suite with the dining room.

At the end of the day, they poured these columns for the upper part of the living room. They should be able to form up the remaining columns tomorrow and could possibly begin pouring the upper beams over the weekend. What a difference having a full crew makes!

Koki will arrive tomorrow morning. He generally leaves Chiclayo around midnight and travels through the night, arriving here at about 6 a.m.

We'll need to make a decision about the location of the water tower. Originally it was located behind the master suite and the bungalows. However, when we were on site, we realized this put it in the center of Georg's view. While Georg was here, we relocated it behind the kitchen. This put it far enough east so as not to interfere with Georg's view of the coastline. However, when Georg was up at the house for Easter week, he saw the rebar towers and complained that the water tower in that location would destroy his view from the master bedroom. In actuality, it only blocks his view of the road and hillside development. I think his objection is that he can see the water tower and would prefer it located out of sight. The only way to do this is to locate it on Georg's property, not our own. After consulting with the engineers, we cannot reasonably locate the water tower anywhere except across the back of our property. Otherwise the distance to the bungalows is too far for gravity to provide enough pressure. We've tried to be accomodating to Georg's wishes, being good neighbors, but he may have to compromise on this one. Right now, we are at an impasse.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

14 April 2010

The construction workers again made a lot of progress. They began the process of making the outside walls smooth with a layer of cement on both the kitchen/dining room and the master suite. Many of the workers have been smoothing out the walls inside the master suite, pantry and the storage area. They poured the floors for the storage and pantry areas today and were preparing the master suite floor for pouring tomorrow.

The wall separating the kitchen from the dining room was put in today. There will be no doors between the two, just a pass way around the wall.

The workers also poured the cement form on the far side of the jacuzzi. In the initial pictures from the CAD program, it looked liked the jacuzzi form would continue down into the studio. But as they work, it looks like the jucuzzi will be an overhang.... I'm still trying to configure my studio; where will the shelves be; etc.

Koki will be here tomorrow. It seems like we have finally lit a fire under him. The pace of the construction in the last week has increased at warp speed. We have a crew of 15 working 6 days a week. There is still soooooo much more that needs to happen, but each day we see a lot of progress.

Doug and Sanchez rebuilt the gate this afternoon. One side of the gate was simply falling apart, while the other side was separating from the cement post. Sanchez had acquired a piece of wood and was trying to figure out how to cut it into a piece that would work for the repair. Doug and I took Sanchez into town this afternoon and found a carpenter to rip it into the size piece he wanted. We then came back to the property and Doug and Sanchez went to work. Sanchez wasn't totally convinced that Doug was a carpenter, but after they got things done, he knew. Sanchez has been worried about not having a gate in place for the last several days. A local street vendor apparently came through the gate today selling his wares, which thoroughly sent Sanchez's security sensors into hyperdrive. He is so consciencious about this property. He does not want anything untoward to happen on his watch. We hope Georg knows what a treasure Sanchez is.

We have come to a point of conflict with Georg. While he was here over the Easter week, he asked about the rebar towers over the cistern. He was concerned that if the water tanks were located there, it would impede his view. During this entire project, we have been ultra careful to ensure his view was preserved as we built our home. All of the rooftops for our house are below the level of his property. The exception is the water tower. Originally it was located more toward the center of the property which definitely would have impeded his view. We consulted with him, and moved it to the east. Now that he has seen the tower, he is objecting that it obstructs his view. As we look at it, the only place that it obstucts the view is from one side of the master bedroom. The primary view is preserved. He has asked us to look at alternatives; including locating the water tanks on his property. According to the engineers, there are two viable locations for the tower. One was in the center of his view of the ocean and harbor; and we immediately rejected it. The other location is off to the east. The only thing it blocks is Georg's view of the properties along the beach; not the beach itself. The engineers tell us there are two alternatives; one is to locate the tanks at 5.2 meters which is a minimum height to deliver adequate water pressure to the bungalows. The other alternative is to raise the tower two meters. This might allow Georg to maintain a view throught the tower, and provide us with optimum water pressure. Georg has expresssed his dissatifaction with either option. Ah... the joys of construction in a neighborhood. I'm not sure how this will be resolved, but conflicts were bound to happen.

The spinach this afternoon was very fresh in the market. It came wrapped in newspaper an tied with a strand of bark from some sort of tree or palm. Wednesday is generally market day; the day that fresh produce arrives in town. When we went to our little market today, crates of fresh produce were stacked on the sidewalk. Large sacks of potatoes, yucca, camote and rice were being off-loaded. Such a fun day.

We saw a guy carrying cases of toilet paper two meters high on his shoulder as he delivered to various markets. There is an old (60's) Malibu that comes into town loaded with produce; the truck is wide open but loaded up to the top of the car with various sacks. More sacks are stacked on top of the car. He is sooooo loaded, it is amazing he can even maneuver. One of these days, I will catch him to take a picture.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Today was another big day for the construction. The floor for the dining room, and the breezeway which is 8 feet above the ground connecting it to the master suite were poured today. The first picture shows the dining room floor from the kitchen. The next is looking over toward the master suite from the kitchen. The third picture is looking back at the kitchen/dining room from the master bedroom. The walls in the master bath and bedroom are now done so they should be able to pour the floor in the next couple of days. What a difference it makes having 15 workers! The extra day helps too.

Doug and I took Peggy and Bruce to the airport in Piura so they could catch their flight to Lima. I think they enjoyed their visit here and their trip to Peru. We certainly enjoyed having them here. It would have been nice for us if Bruce could have installed more of the cabinets, but then he got some extra days of vacation!

We had another cable fail. The computer cable, one we just bought, stopped working the night before last. We had an electrician come out to the house on Saturday to check the circuits and the solar system. He didn't find anything wrong with it except he said the breakers were a cheap brand that might not trip when there was a problem. We had him replace the breakers with a better brand. We also bought a surge protector in Piura today; hopefully that will protect our stuff if the breaker doesn't. What a pain!

We went into Los Organos for Pollo a la Brasa tonight. The food is always good and after being gone all day, neither of us were in the mood for cooking. There was quite a bit of activity in the square tonight. Doug thought it because everyone was over their hangover from the weekend. Whatever, it was there were lots of people.

We've been trying to get our taxes filed. It has been a bit tricky doing everything through an intermediary and electronically. We will be electronically filing; but printing out the signature form, getting it faxed back and a hard copy mailed is a different story when you don't have access to a printer, fax and post office.
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Early this morning, Doug went into Vichayito to pick up Bruce. As the crew had finished the floor in the kitchen, this was Bruce's day to install the cabinets.

Once they were back up at El Nuro, I went in and picked up Peggy. We then went to the market to pick up the groceries for the workers. It felt strange not to stop for water as well. One thing on Juana's list was one sole worth of vegetables for soup. Many vendors in the market will put an assortment of vegetable scraps and beans into a small bag for soup. Our favorite vegetable lady puts a two quart bag together of pieces of the various veggies she has for sale. She includes cabbage, squash, onion, carrot, beans, celery, leeks, peppers, broccoli, beans among other veggies. So.... for about 30 cents, you have the base for a soup.

As we came up the road toward the property, Peggy commented that she could see some of the cabinets up. Indeed, the upper cabinets along the back wall were up. Amazing. It took Bruce and Doug all day to set the cabinets in place. They were able to set the cabinets in the kitchen with the exception of the island. Their power tools ran out of power, and the generator was not strong enough to keep things going. Even so, the kitchen looks awesome. It actually looks larger now then it did without the cabinets. This will be the largest kitchen I have had in my adult life. I look at all the cabinet space and think I will never be able to fill it all. What a change from "how will I fit everything in?"

In other parts of the construction, workers finished the walls in the pantry and in the storage room. The layout for the pouring of the dining room floor and breezeway are almost done. The walls in the master bathroom were also finished today.

So much progress has been made in this last week. I looked back at the pictures taken last week and am amazed. I so appreciate Koki's push to get things done. I tease him about getting things done for my birthday at the end of April. Can't see it happening, but if they keep going the way they did this week it just might be possible.

Two more of our electronics have been fried. One of the computer cords is no longer functioning and my phone charger has quit working. The new fan we bought this week in Mancora also quit working during the night last night. We had an electrician out here on Friday, who checked all the circuits and the connections with the solar system. He thought everything was in order, except for perhaps the circuit breakers. He said the brand Georg had used were cheap and didn't always shut off the power when there was a problem. As this was all he could identify as a problem, we had him replace the breakers with a better quality brand.... one that should kick off if there is a problem. I think my phone charger preceeded this, but don't think the computer cable problem did. Frustrating... what do you do?

We have thoroughly enjoyed having Bruce and Peggy here. They are both easy people to have around. I was a bit nervous about their visit; not knowing Bruce well at all, and never having met Peggy... but it has been wonderful. We hope they will return again as they have become friends above business
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Sunday, 11 April 2010

First thing this morning, the water trucks arrived. Koki had called for a truck of potable water. He had bought the water tanks for our house and temporarily set them on the roof of the service zone. This way, the workers would have potable water and Doug and I would no longer have to haul water in from town. As it turned out, the truck didn't have a working pump, so it couldn't get water into the tanks of the roof. The workers had to haul the tank off the roof and take it down close to their camp at ground level so it could be filled.

The second water truck arrived shortly after 7. It filled our tanks so when people awoke, they could take a shower. Boy that felt good!

Doug headed into town for groceries and to pick up Bruce and Peggy. I stayed behind and did the dishes from yesterday. Amazing how many dishes eight people can go through when they are partying from 9 am to 7 at night! They were pretty gross.

Another day of the rally racing. We weren't sure of the schedule, but assumed it would be similar to yesterday's so we headed into town early enough to get back before they closed the road. Caroline and Jay did not join us today.

We spent a relatively quiet day at the house. Peggy took a long walk along the beach. Bruce and I slept in the hammocks. Doug kept watch on the workers. Koki and Roseo went down to the beach and spent much of the morning there.

The construction workers worked until noon. They finished the concrete floor in the kitchen and continued preparing for the cement pour for the dining room floor and the breezeway between the master suite and the dining room. After their lunch, they came up to Georg's and watched the rally cars go by with the rest of us. Later, they went down to the beach and took a swim.

After sunset, we headed into Mancora for dinner. We decided that this would be the night for going out. Jay and Caroline joined us. Mancora, being a huge tourist destination, has many fine restaurants. This particular one, Las Sirenas, we have found to be exceptional. Their specialty is tuna. I have never tasted tuna this good before. We always start with a couple of appetizers; a tuna tartare and another that has paper-thin slices of tuna in a yellow pepper sauce. Even Bruce, who said he could never eat raw fish, thought it was great. I had a slow roasted baby goat dish that was fabulous. Most everyone else had the fish of the day, grouper, which they said was fabulous as well. Las Sirenas has become one of our favorite restaurants.

After dinner, we dropped Koki and Roseo at the bus station for their trip home. Both were very tired.... hopefully they got some sleep on the trip 6 hour trip home. Roseo said she would get home just in time to get her older daughter up and off to school. I'm sure this was a long weekend for them, and they were both tired, but I am so thankful they were here. We got a chance to get to know Koki and Roseo better.
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Saturday 10 April 2010

We got up this morning for a full day and had no water. What a surprise! Usually the water tanks last us a month and it wasn't much more the two weeks ago we filled them. It wasn't until later I remembered that George had a houseful during Easter week. They must have used a lot of water. The only water we had access to was water Sanchez uses for irrigation; water we could use for washing, but definitely not for drinking or cooking. He brought us a five gallon bucket and set it in the kitchen. We also have a 5 gallon jug of potable water from which to drink. But... no water for toilets, showers, dishes.... and several house guests. Mmm.

Today was the first day of the rally car races out of Los Organos. The race route was to come down our road from Cabo Blanco to the south to El Nuro. To me, this seemed like a rather remote route, but I guess that's what rally car racing is about; finding difficult roads and traveling them as fast as you can.

First thing in the morning, we went into town for the groceries. We had heard the road would be closed to all traffic after 10 am. so we wanted to be sure to be back at the house by then. We picked up Peggy and Bruce, and Caroline and Jay in Vichayito. We planned on watching the rally car race and cooking up the fish the guys caught on their excursion yesterday. Koki had invited his wife to come up and she took the bus from Chiclayo to join us.

The races started at 2 in the afternoon. A car with a siren was sent over the course first to be sure it was clear. Then a car came racing by every minute or so. The starts are staggered, and the drivers race against the clock. There are two people in the car; a driver and a navigator. All together they might have been twenty-five cars. Some of them really seemed to be pushing the limits; sliding a bit in the corners and engine screaming as they took off down the road. Others were traveling fast, but seemed to be playing it cautious.

During all of this, the construction continued. The carpenter started laying OSB over the roof structure. Having that in place really made the place start looking like a house. Other workers were continuing to prepare for the pouring of the breezeway between the master suite and the kitchen/dining room. In total, there was a crew of 15 in place.

Koki also contracted with Juana, the cook, to cook for the crew for the next four Sundays. The crew had agreed to work half days on Sunday to try to get caught up. We still don't really have a schedule, but I think Koki realized he was behind when Bruce indeed showed up to install cabinets, and things weren't ready for him. We talked with Koki for quite some time yesterday about the delays; the slowness of the project. We know it has been difficult to find reliable workers that Koki has confidence in to come out here to work in the heat and the remote-ness. The rains in other parts of Peru have made getting materials difficult. But, we were feeling like the construction could last forever, with no end in sight. The push this weekend in the construction work was amazing.

Everyone stayed until after dark. Doug took Peggy, Bruce, Caroline and Jay back to Vichayito and I stayed here with Koki and his wife. Roseo doesn't speak any English so I'm sure it was difficult for her to understand all that was going on. Once everyone left, the three of us sat down along the wall and talked... in Spanish. We ended up talking until well after midnight. It was a great day with good friends.

No one complained about not having water, although we joked a lot about it. I filled a laundry tub with the irrigation water and just set all the dishes into it so at least they would be soaking. The water truck was all set to deliver today, but because of the rally races, couldn't ever get down our road to actually deliver.

This picture is of Koki and his wife Roseo.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Oops....don't know what happened...but the blog disappeared and I couldn't get back to it to finish it...so...another try.

Peggy and Bruce enjoyed the sunset with Stormy. They have both taken to her and seem to enjoy her a lot. She enjoys them and all the extra attention.

Notice in this picture Koki telling me to get out of the way! I wanted to get some pictures of what was going on, but since there was so much activity centered in the kitchen, it was hard to get a shot without being in the midst.

Tomorrow promises to be a good day. Koki's wife, Roseo will arrive. Bruce and Peggy as well as Jay and Caroline will be up here at the house for the Rally Races. I'm not entirely sure what these races are, but there are numerous race cars gathering in Los Organos and the route is supposed to go right in front of our property! We met one car owner today; he was a lawyer from Lima wearing a "United We Stand" T-shirt with an American flag. He told us he had spent a year at Yale....except when he said it, is sounded like a year in jail.
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