Wednesday, July 21, 2010

21 July 2010

Wow, I can hardly believe it is the end of July already! Sometimes time flies and sometimes it drags. July 28th is Peru's independence day, so next weekend should be quite interesting. Not only because of the holiday, but because Mandy arrives. I hope the busses continue to run so I can meet her in Lima. It is not uncommon for things to just stop during a holiday; and this is perhaps their biggest.

I have some tuna steaks marinating for dinner tonight. The tuna must be plentiful as the markets have been full. Marlins must also be running right now. Most of the tuna we see are somewhere between 4 and 10 kilos. Occasionally we'll see a really big one. The marlins I've seen have been 4 to 5 feet long without the head and tail. Both are delicious eating. We've really enjoyed the tuna which is totally different that what one gets in a can in the states. It is fresh enough for sushi quality...we can eat it raw if we choose. And it is soooo good.

Road crews have been out on the PanAmerican Highway filling pot holes. We've been here long enough to have figured out how to avoid the majority of them; and this takes us all over the highway. You can tell a local by how they drive the highway...if they swerve from one side to the other frequently, they are local! It's pretty comical to watch.

A lot of work has been happening out at the property, even though Koki has yet to arrive with the last truck of supplies.

José and Chino have virtually finished laying the tiles for the pool. They were running a bit short of the sheets (one foot square of 1 inch tiles), so Chino was taking the loose tiles and gluing them onto sheets missing tiles. They will then wait 48 hours before pulling the backing sheets off of the tile and then will begin to grout. Of course, many of them have been in place much longer than this, so they should begin grouting tomorrow. I was joking with José and Chino
today about them ¨living in the pool¨ this last couple of weeks! I think I´ll bring them some cerveza (beer) when they get it done and have it ready for water!

Chimu, the carpenter, was working on putting the wood up under the eaves of the roofs of the bungalows and laying the wood for the deck around the pool. Even though we have had major issues with the quality of his work in some areas, he seems to have taken the instruction, moved on and is glad to see us when we arrive. We discussed the interior stairs, which he did not build, with him. The stairs are 7 to 8 inches high, much higher than usual and Doug had specifically said he wanted them to be 6 inches high. It was kind of nice to be able to show Chimu that we were particular about everyone´s work, not just his.

Ramon and his crew were building the stairs from the parking area up to the reception area today. He has also laid out the stairs for the entry walkway Koki designed. These will be a bit tricky because we chose a patterned tile which will go up stairs, cover landings, and then complete the ¨reception zone.¨

We composed a long list of things to discuss with Koki tomorrow when he should arrive. Hopefully he will arrive with the rest of the materials necessary to complete the project; windows, screens, doors, counter-tops....we shall see. In some ways it is heartening to be down to a list; and most things on the list are either fixes or minor changes.

The solar engineers proposed a system much more elaborate and expensive than we need. We remember one of them commenting that since we were rich Americans, we could afford the biggest and the best system. Their proposal was way out of our price range, so we have been investing other alternatives. We think we can locate, purchase and put together a system for a quarter of what they wanted to charge us. It pays to do your research.

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