Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Taking Shape

After four weeks of construction, the transformation of our property has been nothing less than amazing. We now have three foundations laid, and tubing for water and electricity has been put into place. We can walk through each building, room by room, and imagine what it will be like to actually live there. Little by little, this is all turning into reality.

Getting to this point in the process so quickly has not been easy. For one thing, our property is located in an area called Fila de Cal, or Line of Calcium, referring to our mountainside. In other words, we’re building on top of huge quantities of solid rock. Apparently, sledge hammers are in short supply (or cost to much to use), so our foundations were dug mostly with pick axes and muscle power. The work was so cumbersome, I could barely watch... Because the terrain posed such a challenge, Patrick suggested to our contractor that he hire more guys to get the job done. Pat rounded up an extra ten men in our small town, and set them all to work. Unemployment in our region is a problem, so for days after that, we received a steady stream of visitors who heard that we were hiring. We now have thirty guys on site, which makes the place hum with activity from every direction.

Although we’ve hired a General Contractor for the construction, Patrick goes to the site every day to answer questions and make sure the materials (which we are supplying) are on hand when they’re needed. I’m not convinced he needs to be there every day, but he can’t seem to tear himself away. He has caught some small mistakes, so it’s probably best that he’s there keeping a watchful eye.

Lucas is also thrilled to be part of the excitement. He loves being able to “help”, and thankfully, the guys are tolerant of his efforts. One thing about Costa Rica is that everyone has a big family with lots of kids, so people are very patient with youngsters. Sometimes, Lucas gets a little too excited ~ Last week, I turned around to find him rubbing cement mix all over his head and body!

So far, the weather has been cooperating, and we’ve only had one big rain shower. The ground is staying dry, which means it’s not as heavy, and the cement has been setting quickly. The sun is hot on the workers’ shoulders, but they seem more accustomed to it than we are. Pat knew what he was doing when he started construction in January.

We’re continuing to cross our fingers and knock on wood, but so far things have been coming off without a hitch. Stay tuned: Next week, walls!

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