Wednesday, June 30, 2010

30th of June 2010

Another market day. As we headed into town today, we passed the "depot" for much of the market produce and saw our grocer waiting for transport. We stopped and offerred to take some of the produce. He asked us to take the eggs to the market; the rest he would take by mototaxi. As it turned out, the eggs totally filled the bed of the pickup. We then took these to the stall in the market where they were unloaded. It is a small favor we can do on ocassion when we happen upon it; but they surely appreciate it. Everytime I enter the market, I am treated like royalty. It's a great exchange.

Today at the property, the carpenters were putting up the trusses for two of the bungalows. We haven't been entirely pleased with the carpenter and his skills, but we were able to give him kudos today as the placement of the trusses was right on. I think part of the problem was that the roof structures for the kitchen/living room and the master suite were done in sections rather than all at one time. At least with the bungalows, Chimo is able to do the roof
in its entirety rather than in sections. We have been very critical of his work until this point so it was good to be able to compliment him on the work on the bungalows.

Tiles are being laid in the first bungalow. The wall tiles in the toilet and shower enclosures are in, and the floor tiles were being prepared today as we were there. The rest of the floor tiles should be ready to go in in the next day or two.

Tiles are also being laid for the pool. These are a bit more brilliant than I would have liked but I think once the water is in the pool, it will not appear as bright. The corners at the floor of the pool will be rounded to make the cleaning easier. I am constantly amazed at how big the pool is and how much work it will take to get it done. Definitely, a lap pool is a luxury. I know this and am still so thankful we will be able to do this.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yesterday we spent the day with the solar and mechanical engineer who will design the solar energy system for our home. This has been a struggle from the beginning. We had thought Koki had consulted with a solar engineer when the project first began. However, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that we've been giving any information about it. We now know that Koki has had no experience with solar energy. We didn't either, but we have done a fair amount of research to educate ourselves. The preliminary information we got from Koki didn't seem to jive with what we were learning, but we waited until there was a formal proposal. As things worked out, we realized that Koki had told the engineers we wanted 5 kilowatts per day when what we really wanted was 5 kilowatts per hour! Once we got together with the solar engineer and compared notes, we finally got on the same page! Fortunately, the engineers insisted on visiting the building site to see what our needs really were. Now I feel quite confident that we will end up with a system that will suit our needs.

Yesterday was also Ferruco, Jr.'s birthday. We were invited to share lunch with him, his family and friends. We ate at one of the MANY small restaurants in Mancora. This one specialized in ceviche. We were served a chicharon (battered fish), tirador (a kind of ceviche, raw fish cured in lime juice, without onions), arroz con mariscos (rice with seafood), and a fish cooked in a pepper sauce. It was very good. We are honored Ferruco counts us amongst his friends. He has certainly been good to us!

Today was spent working out problems with the roof. The carpenter began work on the roof over the terrace that is to connect the dining room with the master bedroom. As things progressed it was obvious that things were out of wack. The construction of this roof is a bit tricky as it connects two buildings that are not parallel. But even so, the ridge beam was not level and was visibly off from a distance. It took a lot of investigation and checking before we finally figured out that the eaves on the kitchen/living room were about four inches lower than the eaves on the master bedroom. Further, we figured out that the main roof structures for the two buildings were only off by an inch. This meant that the eaves on the two buildings were not at the same angle. The best fix would be to redo the eaves on the kitchen/living room so they matched those of the master suite. This obviously would be a major fix. As we were discussing this, we realized that the eaves along the terrace side of the kitchen/dining room were not level. Those in the middle sagged a bit. We then decided to raise this section of the eaves, essentially making this edge bow upwards an inch or two in the middle of its length. This would provide the needed height to tie in the two buildings and level the ridge beam. Unfortunately, this means replacing at least four columns and the ridge beam itself. When all is said and done, I don't think anyone will notice the "bow." This was Doug's idea...and you know how much of a perfectionist Doug is when it comes to construction...

Elsewhere in the construction, workers were tiling the bathroom in the first bungalow. The final cement finish has been put on the floor, so it is also ready for tiling. All the walls have been smoothed and so the windows can be fitted when the window guys return.

The second bungalow was getting a floor today. It is about a day or two behind the first. Workers should begin laying tile in it tomorrow or the next day.

The third bungalow is also progressing quickly. They didn't start this one earlier because they needed access to the swimming pool and the front of the master suite. Once this bungalow began, it seemed to go up quickly.

I think Koki told us there were 22 workers on site today. No wonder things seem to be progressing quickly! I feel for Juana, the cook though. I think she was told there would be a maximum of 15 at any one time. Even so, she always greets me with a smile and a kiss on the cheek. I hear her laughing with her son, Ronald, or with Sanchez. Her laugh is infectious and is much fun to listen to.

We also made some decision about the banisters and railings along the stairs and terrace. Hopefully, these will be put into place in the next week. I've told Koki I plan on moving in on the 7th of July... we'll see if I can stick to that or whether Koki can get things ready for me!

The festival of San Pedro (Saint Peter) was in evidence today. Many of the boats in the harbor were decorated with flags along their lines and a Peruvian flag atop the mast. When we passed the pier today, there was a crowd partying to live music. When we went into town around noon, the market was closed. Our cook had asked us to buy some tuna for breakfast, but the fish market was closed. I was able to buy some chicken, and the lady told me she was closing up for the fiesta, so I was lucky to get there. Town was relatively deserted. I suspect everyone was out at the pier celebrating.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

We arrived out at the property to find the carpenter had put up two trusses for the covered terrace between the dining room and the kitchen. Once again, there was a poorly made joint which he had shimmed. We still can't quite figure out why Koki thinks this guy is such a good carpenter.
Workers had also poured the floor in the first bungalow and were working on the floor for the second bunglaw. Both will need to have a finish layer of cement on top and then we'll be ready for tiles.
The third bungalow has its walls up. Workers will begin to put the finish layer of cement on these walls, as well as columns which they are beginning to form up now.
One of the workers was over on the mechanical room in the service building putting the outside layer of finish on it. Right now this room is being used by a few of the workers as a bedroom. Actually bedrooms have been set up in several places including the storage room behind the kitchen, the master bedroom and the studio.

Doug went to Mancora early this afternoon to kite surf. They had enough wind to launch the kite and get in the water before it died. They had a hard time getting back in for the lack of wind. They decided to have lunch and then try a beach at Cabo Blancito, where the wind is generally better. Once again, they had enough wind to get into the water, only to have the wind die. Generally this is the season for wind, so it's frustrating to have so few days of good wind.

I stayed behind, nursing my toe. I returned to the doctor late this afternoon to have it checked. It turned out she did not remove the entire nail, just the top half which I had torn. It looked quite good and really hasn't been too painful. I still won't be able to go swimming of kite surfing for some time until it heals. Bummer.

After the doctor, we stayed in town and joined Jay for dinner. Being Sunday evening the plaza was bustling with people. Tomorrow starts the annual festival of St. Peter, who is the patron saint of the fishermen. We have seen the statue of St. Peter on display in Los Organos, but almost no other signs of preparation for this festival. Last year there were fireworks, dances, games in the square and at the pier, and a parade of the fishing boats decorated with flags along the coast. I guess we shall see what develops.

Tomorrow we are going to have lunch with Ferruco and his parents as it is his birthday. I wish we'd had a little more warning ahead of time, as I would have like to make or do something special for him. He has been such a great friend and support for us since we've arrived. But then, what do you get a young stud surfer guy who doubles as jewelry/ornament maker?
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's a full moon and we are not moving! We will, however, move soon. We told Koki we were moving in in two weeks, (now 11 days). I still look at all the things that need to get done and can't quite see it getting done. BUT I am ready to be there.

One of the things we've been trying to do is to compost. We even have our cook, Juana, adding to it each day. We started with the wire mesh cylinder and you can see it has filled up. Not much was actually composting though; most of it just dried out and attracted flies. After a bit of research, we figured out that composting in a desert climate needed a bit of help. We've been adding carbon in the form of charcoal and ashes from the BBQ and we began putting things into the plastic barrel to retain moisture. The results have been quite good; the barrel is working well. One thing we read which surprised us though is that you shouldn't put any citrus into your pile.

Excavation of the third bungalow has progressed and the walls are going up quickly. The construction crew poured the floor in the first bungalow today and were preparing the second one for the floor. The generator was getting its own little room built around it today; the walls were up on three sides. The carpenter was there and he was beginning work on the roof over the terrace that joins the dining room with the master bedroom. By the end of today, they had the posts in place.

And being a full moon, other funky things occurred. First of all, the memory chip didn't make it back into the camera so all the pictures I took today weren't saved. I was particularly disappointed because I took several pictures of Doug playing with a couple of kids. There is one family from El Ñuro that comes out regularly with a cooler of drinks and a batch of ceviche for the crew to buy inbetween meals. They had their three kids there today and Doug, true to form, engaged them in play and had them smilling and laughing in no time.

Secondly, the wind conditions have been very light; we've not had enough wind to kite surf. Yesterday we went out onto the beach and launched a kite, but it just wasn't strong enough to go out into the water. Today the wind came up fairly well and we had ideal conditions that lasted less than an hour. This is supposed to be the season for kite surfing, but the conditions haven't been very favorable.

Thirdly, I tore the toenail off of my big toe this afternoon while lifting a box in the kitchen. Workers were moving the refrigerator into place and Doug and I were trying to move other boxes out of the way. It hurt like hell when it happened, but oddly enough, it didn't last long. However, when I looked at it, I saw the nail halfway off and knew we needed to go to the clinic. There are a couple of clinics in Los Organos and we went to the same one I went to with the tonsilitis. The doctor ended up removing the entire nail, prescribing antibiotics and pain killers. In total, the doctor and medication cost me a toenail and less than $25.

Well, full moon or not, we still love it here. The moon is beautiful and we enjoy looking at it each night.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

23 June 2010

Today's Blaine's half birthday...he'll be 29 and a half years old today. Ohhhh, approaching that 30 mark!

We spent the morning out at the property. The workers are getting ready to pour the floor in the bungalows. They need to pour the foundation around the front (you can see the trench marked). It still seems like they have a long ways to go. We have company coming for the last week in July and at least one of the bunglows is supposed to be ready at that time.

The second picture here shows the excavation for the third bungalow. The excavation for this has been delayed so long because trucks and machinery needed access to the area along the beach front. Most of that has been taken care of and so access is not an issue.

We discussed with Koki what things still needed to happen for us to move in.
He seemed to think we could move in within two weeks.
We therefore told him we would move in in two weeks. There is still a lot that needs to happen but I feel like we need to push him. So, in two weeks, we move in.....finished or not; we'll deal with it.

The generator arrived today. The truck arrived and had a crane to unload it. The unloaded it onto a concrete pad with four stud screws; they set it down in place and it all worked like it was supposed to. The generator is a 15Kilowatt power source that should easily handle everything we have. Our idea is to run the generator to circulated the water in the pool, and use it as a back-up to the solar panels. The solar panels should handle 5kilowatts, so we should be well equipped. The solar panels will take another three weeks to arrive. The solar engineer will be traveling to El Nuro this weekend to take measurments, etc. and then will return to install the panels. Having the generator though, means we will have electricity when we move in.

I feel somewhat mired down in molasses at this point. I can see all the things that still need to happen, and I know what things I've paid for, but actually getting them into place is a very slowwwww procccessss. This last weekend was such a teaser; being able to be there and then not?! I tell myself to focus on the two weeks....funny how originally I swore up and down that I would not move in until everything was said and done. Now, just give me bed to sleep in, water for a toilet and shower, and a kitchen stove; and I'm ready!!

We went into Mancora for lunch with Koki this afternoon and were able to watch the World Cup Soccer match between Ghana and Germany. We so rarely get to see any TV, and the World Cup is huge here. It's rather contagious. Even in the barber shop off of the open air market in Los Organos, there is a TV which is now usually tuned into the World Cup. There are always a varied group of people looking in to see what the score is...

Our kite surfing instructor took off for Lima for the weekend and has met with various delays in getting back. He was to arrive in Mancora sometime this afternoon. Hopefully we will have enough wind to have another kite surfing lesson tomorrow. I'm looking forward to doing a "body drag" with Rain, the instructor, as he seemed to be more aggressive than my teacher last week. If we are going to introduce boards, I want to be sure I have enough wind in my sail to keep me going!

Doug and I sat up on the roof at Jay's last night and watch a pod of dolphins swim south. One dolphin was right in the breakers; very close to shore. They are so big, so graceful and amazing to witness.
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

22 June 2010

It is amazing to realize we are here; and we are going to live here permanently. This weekend at the house was so wonderful. Sure, we had a makeshift kitchen, and no hot water in the shower, and no stairs to move up and down between levels; but it didn't matter. We enjoyed our time there and were not anxious to move out this morning. Koki should arrive tomorrow morning and we plan on telling him we will move in on July 1st. Not everything will be done by then, but at some point you have to make the leap.

For the time being, we are back at Jay's in Vichayito. The room is comfortable enough, but by late afternoon, the sun streams in the window and heats things up significantly. It is amazing how far north the sun is setting! I need to brush up on my science because I always thought the equator meant things stayed fairly equal. The time of our daylight hasn't changed very much; dawn comes around 6:oo and sunset is close to 6:30. However, the location of the sunrise and the sunset has moved dramatically.

Tomorrow should be another kite surfing lesson. They tell us that the manipulation of the kite becomes mindless and the rest comes naturally. We shall see about fun would it be if that were to be true?!?!?! We haven't had any pictures of the kite surfing...obviously you don't take any as you are our there. Maybe our instructors will be willing to take some as we take off on the boards! YIKES.
We had seared tuna for dinner tonight. My only exposure to tuna before was from a can. There is NO comparison. Fresh tuna is what sushi is made of. I've made tuna tartare, which is fabulous for a dip or snack. Seared tuna gives you a tuna steak that is rare in the middle. Most people would turn up their noses at this; but until you have tried it you just don't realize how fabulous it can be. When we get tuna at the market, it is less than 24 hours old; often times much fresher. And it tastes nothing like tuna from a can! I think I can honestly say that seared tuna has replaced my favorite of rare beef as the best meal ever!
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Before the workers left for the weekend, Ramon, the head foreman, sat in one of our "stressless" chairs and drank a beer with Doug. Ramon is such a sweetheart; he's very quiet, but is very diligent. He has started greeting us by our first name, preceded by Sr. and Sra., which he practiced until his pronunciation was pretty good. I don't think these two said one word to each other the whole time they sat there....but pictures are worth a thousand words. (or something like that.)

We have really enjoyed our weekend in our home. It will be hard to pack up and leave tomorrow, but hopefully it won't be too long before we can move in permanently!

Tomorrow we will take the third kite surfing lesson. Doug and I will switch instructors, as mine didn't give me nearly the same information as Rain gave Doug. We will do another body drag, and then we are supposed to get on the boards. It's a bit daunting to think of doing all this at the same time, but they tell us the kite becomes mindless once you are on the board. Hmm. Regardless, it will be great fun!
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Saturday, June 19, 2010

19 June 2010

Wow! What an amazing afternoon. Since this weekend is Father's Day, the entire crew wanted to go home to visit with their families. No one wanted to stay behind to provide security for the job site. So Doug and I said we would stay out at the property for the weekend.

We arrived out here at about 12:30 this afternoon. The crew had things well set up for us.... There was a temporary faucet in the kitchen sink, the stove top was hooked up to a gas bottle, and there were lights in the kitchen, master bedroom and bath. The lights run off the small generator.

The crew left for Chiclayo at 1:00 and we went to work. Doug went through the storage room and pulled out of the kitchen boxes. We then proceeded to unpack and began stocking the kitchen shelves. It was really nice to see some of my own things. Cooking dinner was a lot of fun; being able to use my own utensils and dishes.

Spending the evening in our own house is so amazing. I can't even describe the emotions swirling around. I think I might call Koki and tell him I'm here to stay and he will just have to work around us!
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Friday, June 18, 2010

So here we are, in our nice cushy recliner chairs. What a difference from the plastic chairs we've been sitting in!!

Believe it or not, these chairs have made a huge difference. In the room we are living in, there is not much room for anything other than the bed. We did however, make room for our chairs...and they are soooo comfortable. These will eventually be put in our studio space below the bedroom. But for now, we are truly enjoying the luxury in our rented room.

This weekend, being Father's Day weekend, all of the workers will be returning to Chiclayo to spend the weekend with their families. This means that Doug and I will be out there providing security for the weekend. How novel....we will be house sitting our own home over the weekend! The workers have made sure that the kitchen stove top has been hooked up, the kitchen sink has water, and the toilets are working. We will be able to "camp out" in our house for the weekend. All of the windows have been installed in the master suite, including the doors. For all intents and purposes, we are very close to moving in! I am really looking forward to this weekend...camping in our own house!
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

17 June 2010

I feel like we've reached another milestone in the construction this week. The windows make a huge difference and, once again, we have upwards of 15 workers on the job.

The window crew has now installed windows in the kitchen, dining room and living room with the exception of the "front door" and the door out to the terrace connecting the dining room with the master bedroom. They have also installed all the windows in the master suite and studio except the connecting door to the terrace. What a huge change adding the windows feels like. Things are finally being enclosed and the living spaces are becoming more defined.

The carpenter and his crew are also back. They have framed in the roof vents and have them covered with OSB. Part of his crew worked on getting the beams and struts varnished while another part worked on getting the ends of the roof covered; that part above the front windows and the section across the back. The section behind the master bath has been finished. It looks quite nice, but Doug pointed out that the slats don't match up perfectly with the
peak of the roof. He talked with the carpenter and pointed this out, so hopefully
the other ends will line up. It's a good thing Doug is a carpenter and has the experience he has....I wouldn't have picked up on a lot of the details he has.

Another worker has begun putting the new tile into the master bath. Koki really wanted a dark brown tile there to show off the chrome fixtures, but we didn't care for it. We decided to use the tile that looks like rock that we used in the wall of the master bedroom instead. To us, it looks infinitely better. When all is said and done, I think Koki will like it as well.

One of the major efforts today was to excavate some rather large rocks. The generator will be located at the south end of the laundry room and the workers needed to build a pad of it. As they began excavating for the foundation, they found some really big rocks. We watched them work on one rock for more than an hour today. Even tying a rope around it, attaching it to the pick up and pulling, it still took several guys to move it out. Once they got the rock to move and up out of the dirt, several workers took turns beating it with a 16 lb. double-jack to try to break it up into manageable pieces. They finally managed this and cleared the excavation of rock so they could pour
the foundation. It amazes me how relentless these workers are. They just keep at it until it gets done. I think I would have been looking for alternative locations for the generator!

We found out our granite for the kitchen will not be available until after July 15th. I asked to have them put in temporary countertops of OSB so that we could at least use the kitchen while we were waiting. The carpenter apparantly worked into the night last night to install the oven and the drop in stove top. Both still need to be hooked up to gas, but this should be done by this weekend. The other thing installed temporarily in the kitchen is a small sink to the right of the stove top. This is also supposed to have water to it by this weekend.

This weekend is Father's Day. The entire crew is going home to their families Saturday and will return on Tuesday for work. Usually the crew leaves someone or a few workers at the site for security, but this being a special weekend, we're sending everyone home. Doug and I plan on spending Saturday, Sunday and Monday night IN our home. We will then provide the security over the weekend.

Sanchez was called away this week as his neice became ill and needed to be hospitalized in Piura. He has been with her this entire week. Juana, his wife, and the crew's cook has been quite worried about her neice. We are sending her to Piura for the weekend as well. Family is an enormous priority here, as it should be everywhere. We try to honor and support this when we can.

I did finally get up the nerve to ask Juana if she would like to work for us after the construction was done. She assumed it was to cook for us, but when I said we wanted her to do laundry and clean, not cook, she seemed relieved. She said she would like that and that we would talk after the construction was finished. This is a huge relief for me; I can't imagine anyone more trustworthy or dependable for the job. I wasn't looking forward to finding someone simply by interviewing prospects. Juana is so sweet and she has easily demonstrated her mettle by cooking for the crew.

And all this was this morning! Today was also our second day of kite surfing lessons. Yesterday was somewhat of a disappointment as the wind wasn't really strong enough to utilize a kite. We had instruction on the beach about the kite and its workings; safety and theory but no actual practice or experience. Today was a whole different story. We spent a little time on the beach learning to control the kite and then we were off in the water. At first we were in the water in tandem with our instructors; "body dragging." Essentially, the kite was to drag us through the water and we were learning to control the kite. I found it really difficult to keep my body in the right position, never mind the kite. The kite is attached to a hook on a harness around your waist. The kite is controlled by a bar an arm's length away from you. As you move this bar, the kite dips and swirls...and sometimes crashes into the water. Mine crashed so often, I am now really good at launching the kite out of the water! We spent three hours in the water. My 56 year old body complained, but I stuck it out. Unfortunately, we haven't had a lot of opportunity for physical activity as the house has been built. Today felt like going from 0 to 60 in 20 seconds; just not in a car. Going from sitting and computing to intense physical activity. Hopefully I will sleep well tonight! Tomorrow is another lesson; we are supposed to be getting up on boards tomorrow! Yikes!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

15 June 2010

I blogged last night, twice, but for some reason, I couldn't get it to post. I'm having some of the same problems tonight; I can't get any of the picutres to load.
Hopefully, the text will go through.

Today was a big day out at the property. Koki arrived at about 5 am with a large truck, loaded to the gills with stuff. The windows which we have been waiting for; almost 5 tons worth, arrived along with the glass crew to install them. By the time we left the property at lunch time, the windows were already installed in the kitchen.

Wood for the roof vents, the deck around the pool and for the stairs also arrived. The carpenter was already on the job framing the vents and putting them in place. He brought a couple of men to varnish the beams, and to paint the underside of the OSB sheets on the roof. Koki intended to leave these natural but varnished; but I asked to have it painted. To me, the OSB doesn't look finished. And I don't think it fits with the rest of what we've done in the house.

The kitchen appliances arrived. Unfortunately, the granite countertops didn't. Koki received word yesterday that it wouldn't be available until July 15th. As we hope to be in the house a long time before then, I asked him to set in place some OSB, install the stovetop, and sinks so we can utilize the kitchen.

The furniture Doug and I bought in Lima a few weeks ago arrived. Most of it was just moved into the piano/bar area and not unpacked since we still aren't ready to move in. We did, however, bring two chairs back to Jay's. Up until now, all we've had are plastic chairs to sit in. Both of us are currently encamped in our chairs working on our computers. They are sooo comfortable.

We took Koki in to Mancora for lunch at a Mexican restaurant there that we like. We were able to watch a little bit of the World Cup match between Brazil and North Korea.

Immediately after lunch, we stopped by the kite surfing shop and signed up for lessons. We even got Koki to sign up! Our first lesson will be tomorrow. We'll spend most of it on the beach, learning to fly and maneuver the kite. It should be great fun.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

13 june 2010

Not much happening out at the property as today is Sunday. We were hoping for some deliveries, but supposedly they will arrive during the night tonight.
The furniture and the appliances that we bought for the house while in Lima should arrive with this shipment. We are also hoping the windows will arrive. The windows are the next big milestone for the house. Once those are in, we should be very close to moving in.
After our visit to the property this morning, I fell asleep and slept for close to five hours. Waking up in time to cook dinner was quite weird. But this is the third time in a couple of weeks I've done this. Not sure what is going on with my system, but I sure hope it works itself out.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

12 June 2010

Two new developments at the property today. The circulation tank and the
mechanical room for the pool were enclosed. And a column between the door
and the window in the bungalow was set in place.

At times it doesn't seem like much has happened and it is disheartening. Sometimes progress seems so slow, it's painful. I think it is even more so toward the end....we had expected to be in at the first of we are looking at the first of July....Patience was never one of my strong points; but I'm trying.

The furniture we bought in Lima should be arriving tomorrow. With this shipment are two reclining/swivel chairs we are both looking forward to. In our temporary quarters, all we have are plastic chairs and the bed for sitting. Do I dare look forward to them coming?

I cooked a seafood chowder for dinner tonight. Jay is allergic to shrimp, so I cooked these separately so Doug and I could add them. It was really very good, if I do say so myself. Having fresh shrimp, calamari, and fish available only
makes it all that much better.

We also had fresh bread. Each morning the guard at the gate to the develpment buys bread for us. It's so good it doesn't last through the day. It comes by mototaxi each morning from a bakery in Mancora. We generally give the guard a tip, so he is more than happy to get it for us each morning.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

11 June 2010

Sorry to say, I didn't have the card in the camera as I took pictures today. Bummer!
The recirculation tank and the mechanical room for the pool were covered yesterday with the wooden forms and the crew was tying rebar across the top in preparation for a cement pour. All of this area, and the two cemented areas along either side of the pool will be covered by a wooden deck.
The dark brown tiles Koki had chosen for the master bathroom were being removed today, much to his chagrine! He really wanted to show off the faucets with a contrasting background, and I liked his idea; but not his choice of tile. We asked him to change the tile to the "rock" tile that is in place in the bedroom.
Jorge continues to work on finishing the walls on one of the bungalows. He hasn't been feeling well, and we brought him some medication for his stomach yesterday. I think it's helped, as he seemed more himself today. Jorge likes to have a radio playing while he works. Every so often he asks us to get him some batteries. I actually bought him a carton of batteries, hoping to convince him to help me do a mural when the entry was built. I haven't approached the subject yet.
The other subject I haven't approached yet is asking Juana, Sanchez's wife and the cook for the crew, if she would like to work for us as a housekeeper when her cooking duties finish. She is such a sweetheart and I can't imagine a more trustworthy or hard-working person. So why my hesitation? I haven't figured that out...other than perhaps the language thing. My Spanish is pretty good now, but it isn't by any means fluent. So, why am I so hesitant?.... no sé.
Doug and I had dinner outside on the terrace tonight as it is several degrees cooler than in the kitchen. We watched the sunset and the resulting coloring of the clouds. It is such a pleasant time of the evening. As we were watching the bats come out, dart about catching insects, Stormy spotted a fox on the next property down from Jay's. Off she went, and the fox took off as well. Fortunately, Stormy didn't see where the fox went so lost her prey. Who knows what would happen if she went face to face with a fox!
I was truly disappointed not to have the card in the camera as this afternoon there was a parade by the local school children through the center of town. They were carrying banners declaring respect for the environment, nurturing plants, and good health. Many of the children had large flower masks around their faces. Others had "sandwich" type costumes of various plants. Many of the locals were drawn out of the shops and stood alongside with broad smiles as the kids went by. It was quite a production!
We took Stormy for a long walk this afternoon along the beach and then up around the hills behind Jay's. We took a shocking pink ball with as; it's her beach toy as it floats in the water. She could hardly focus on anything else as she was so excited to play with her ball. Her friend, the rotweiller, was on the beach when we got there. Stormy didn't really want to play with him; she was waiting for the toy. The only bad thing about the toy is that she doesn't like to bring it back so we can throw it again. She takes off with it, tries to bury it in the sand or takes it out into the water to let the waves toss it around. I'm hoping if we keep working at it, she will get the idea of fetch!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

10 June 2010

This morning we took a local carpenter by the name of Charapo out to the property with us. We want him to build us some outdoor patio furniture; some tables, chairs and lounges. One design we were asking him to make was a hexagonal table. Koki and Charapo sketched out the table on this wall just to see what it would be like. Later, we will probably ask Charapo to build the closets in the master bedroom and the bungalows as well as some shelving in the pantry and the studio. Many of our friends in Vichayito have used Charapo and have been satisfied with his work.

The workers continue to pour the concrete around the pool. A wooden deck will eventually be laid over the top of this. The water in the pool is designed to be even with the edge so the appearance is of an edgeless pool. The water will run down channels along the edge to a recirculation tank and then be pumped back into the pool. Some of the edges for the pool have been finished; but they still need to put in stairs and get it ready for tiles. The tiles are bit brighter than I would have liked, but I think they will work out fine once the water is in there. Truthfully, just having a lap pool will be luxury in itself!!

There is still an ongoing disagreement with Georg over the water tower. He is objecting to its blocking his view. I really think the objection is that the water tanks are in his view at all. Somehow, we will try to make them as unobtrusive as possible, but , truly, the don't block his view of the beach or ocean.

The progress on the bungalows continues. Jorge has been finishing the walls in the bungalows and getting things ready for a floor. He seems to be the only one who is working on the bungalows.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Each day we take groceries out to the crew and observe the progress made. Somedays it seems miniman and yet others seem like a milestone. We are still waiting for the windows. I think this is the next milestone for us.

A lot of work has been done around the pool. The edges have been finished and the framework for the wood deck surrounding the pool is now in place.

Jorge continues to work on the two bungalows; finishing the cement work and getting things ready for the windows.

We met this afternoon with Charapo, a local carpenter. He made the doors and windows for Jay's place here in Vichayito. We may be asking him to make us a patio set of a table and four chairs and some lounge chairs for around the pool. We may also ask him to build closets and doors. Koki has yet to come up with samples from carpenters, and we think Charapo may be able to suit our needs.

I think we are at a point in our construction that we might make decisions for the finishing pieces. Koki has been wonderful and we love him, but there are some details he hasn't attended to.

Our furniture that we bought in Lima a week ago, has been shipped to Chiclayo. Koki is supposed to pick it up and ship it the rest of the way to El Nuro.
As of late this afternoon, he hadn't made the arrangements for this to happen. We shall see if our furniture arrives tomorrow. Keep in mind that Doug and I have been living in a room with a bed and one plastic chair. We have no table to put our computers or any other furniture. We are looking forward to putting our two reclining chairs into our room so we can comfortably spend out time.

We also were able to set the island in the kitchen. The tubes for the electricity, water and gas all had to be drilled into the bottom of the cabinet. Once done, the cabinet it set and we are now ready for the appliances. Hopefully these will arrive by truck tomorrow.

Patience is the name of the game.

Our good friend, Paola, the daughter of the master weaver, Maximo, is pregnant. I have been knitting her a baby sweater with a matching sweater for a teddy bear. Good Catholics, but she is unmarried, and they probably haven't been to mass in a couple of year. However, in her defense, she is dating and totally in love with a wonderful man. No word yet as to a wedding....but everyone is happy and excited for the blessed event!

Meanwhile we enjoy the sunsets and the wonderful weather here. Being less than 5 degrees off of the equator, we generally get 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of night-time. Each day brings us new sights and experiences. Is there more that one can ask for?
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