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.