Wednesday, August 25, 2010
25 August 2010
This morning’s grocery run was a busy one. I stopped at the laundry to drop off a couple of loads. Then I went on to the grocery store. Since it was market day, they were shorthanded in the stall. Other workers were at the drop off area on the PanAmerican Hwy where supplies come in on Wednesdays. We stopped at the hardware store and then went out to the market drop off area.
Koki had ordered some wood for the deck, and it was to come in on the truck. When we got there, we found it was indeed on the truck but at the bottom and it would take them at least an hour to unload everything else to get to it. We didn’t wait around, and planned on returning later for the wood.
We then went out to the entrance to Vichayito to drop off garbage. We don’t have garbage pick up out this far from El Ñuro, so we have to bring it into town. Sometimes I can catch one of the garbage carts in town. If I have to stop for fuel, I will drop it at the gas station. Otherwise, I’ll drive out to the entrance to Vichayito where there are depositories along the side of the road for garbage. The only recycling collection I know of is on that road as well. There’s a bin for plastic and a bin for glass.
We also stopped at the bus station (which is also our “post office”) and picked up a catalogue for windows and glass products. Another American, from Ohio, is building a home closer to El Ñuro and he had asked for information from our “glass” guy. We dropped the catalogue off at his home on our way by. It gave me a chance to introduce Koki to Ricardo who is the building contractor and a brother to the developer.
Back at the house, I began sketching out the mural on the wall at the entry. I have a basic plan drawn out in a sketch book, and was trying to transfer those drawings onto the wall. I was able to sketch out a bit less than half of the wall today. The top part of the wall is 8 feet high. As the steps go down, the wall gets taller. I think it is about 11 feet at the bottom. So far I like what I’ve done; will start painting it later in the week and hopefully won’t foul it up. I guess it is just a wall, so I can paint over the top of everything if it doesn’t work out.
We had three loads of water come today. With two more loads, the pool will be full. At that point the plumber will return with stairs to get in and out of the pool, the chemicals and accessories we will need to maintain it. All the workers are getting a big kick out of how excited I am to see this pool filling up. It has to be amazing to them as well….I wonder how many pools this size they have ever seen or worked on. Maybe they just want to see what a gringa will do in such a pool!
Late this afternoon, the generator unexpectedly shut down. I was outside working on the mural so didn’t realize anything was amiss until I walked into the kitchen and it was quite dark. Celia said, there are no lights. The workers told me that a problem came up when they were using a chop saw to cut the aluminum for the screens. Thank goodness Koki was here as he took charge, investigated the problem and restarted the generator. I had gone down to play the piano; mostly to stay out of their way, but also to occupy my mind while they were figuring out this problem. After the lights came back on, Koki brought me an extension cord I had bought in Talara just last week to extend the cord for the light on my loom. Every few inches along the extension cord, the cord showed burnt marks and the interior wires were showing through. This was the problem. The extension cord was not heavy enough to carry the load. I had actually wondered about how light weight the extension cord was, but I figured the store clerk wouldn’t sell me something that wouldn’t work with 220 for a small lamp fixture. OK, lesson learned. Koki said he would send me four or five extension cords to use around the house….ones that wouldn’t short everything out!
I took Koki to Mancora tonight so he could catch his bus home. No sooner had I returned home and another worker needed a ride into Los Organos to catch a bus to Chiclayo. I was told the moto-taxi driver wasn’t answering his phone, so they couldn’t arrange transportation. I don’t actually mind driving them as it gives me an opportunity to get to know each one a little bit. Now that my Spanish is better, I’m more comfortable trying to carry on a conversation. It used to be totally silent all the way into town. Within this last week or so, the workers have really warmed up to me. I think they realize that my hesitancy to interact has been because of the language, and they are very forgiving of my inadequacy with the language. They don’t want to correct me though, so I have to ask if what I’ve said is correct.
The workers still have to work around me, as I have to move about around them. I try not to get in their way and to let them know, they have priority as they need to finish things up. They have all been very gracious and also somewhat protective of me. I’ve invited most of them to return with their families once the construction is completed so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor and a vacation at the beach. It’s hard to know how many of them will actually come back to visit, but I hope many of them will. One of our hopes in building this home is that many people will chose to come visit.
Chino is such a perfectionist when it comes to his work. This BBQ pit has been his project from the beginning. Each wall is built with bricks and mortar. He then puts a rough finish of concrete over the bricks. Finally he puts a very clean, very smooth finish of concrete.
I'm sorry you can't see the sketching on the wall. But at least you can appreciate the ladder I am using. It works, but I'm not sure how much confidence I have in it. As I move further down the wall, it may become more of an issue for me.
Only two more truckloads of water and the pool will be full. Maybe I'll get to swim in it tomorrow!