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!

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