December 11-16, 2006 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #113
Contact phone numbers
New York: 315-279-6711
Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203
Land: 506-282-4142 Ext. 101
NOTE: the New York and Toronto numbers are "local calls" for people in the area codes; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code to either the "315" or the "416" area code.
NOTE: NOW THAT THIS DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIALLY FINISHED, THE LOG WILL FOCUS MORE ON THE RIO ORO DEVELOPMENT. IT WILL BE INFORMATIVE TO THOSE PLANNING ON BUILDING, THOSE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO PURCHASE OR TO LEASE, AND FOR THOSE WONDERING WHAT EXPATS DO IN COSTA RICA AND THE LIFESTYLE OF TWO ORDINARY PEOPLE.
Pictures: none -I seem to have lost my camera.
The Story: The well water, the Turnover Meeting, and
the Christmas Party.
Weather: Beautifully perfect punctuated by a few
Irrigation system: I have received one design
proposal. It is way, way more than I expected and
that I believe is justified. I'm exploring it to
determine if my expectations were wrong of if the
proposer just wants to retire early. In any event,
his price is not in the cards.
Unit 126: Construction is completed and the unit is
sold. It is largely furnished; only a bit more
landscaping and a lamp and three breakfast bar stools
remain to be added. It is available for lease.
Turnover Meeting: This was held on Friday afternoon.
Paul and I resigned as directors/officers of the
company and the shareholders elected a new President,
Treasurer and Secretary from the other shareholders.
We will work with them to facilitate the change over
in management. Paul and I as officers of Residencias
Property Management S.A. will remain the property
managers and report to the newly elected board of
Rio Oro Development: For security, we have decided to
build a small house and have someone live on site. We
will be adding security lighting to the area next
week. We are waiting on our application for perimeter
fencing. We have done a fairly focused review of the
conceptual design vis a vis the land; some
adjustments are being made to the conceptual design.
I think we are being forced to focus more on certain
areas and how those areas should be developed. I'm
excited by what we are coming up with.
House Resales and Rentals: The re-sale of 108 is
still pending for reasons which I don't understand.
Rentals: Unit 110: We have one 1,300 sf 2
bedroom/2bathroom unit available for lease-fully
furnished at $1,350 mo or partially furnished at
$1,250 mo. Most of the furnishings have been
Unit 126: Studio unit with full kitchen and terrace.
Lots of built-ins and very well furnished. Rate
depends on length of lease.
Water: Our diagnosis that the well had gone dry was, I
now think, premature. However we did run a 1" line of
City water to the holding tank. That solution was
helpful but really marginal in the longer run.
Subsequently, we had a well expert who determined that
a control circuit board might be the culprit in
shutting down the well pump. We've replaced the
circuit board and are now praying that that was, in
fact, the problem. Now we are rejoicing and enjoying
the taste of the well water vs. the over chlorinated
The Christmas Party: We contributed some money and
several of the workers organized a pig feast. Lots of
pigs never see New Years here! It was the same as in
years past but it is always good fun: a pig cut up
at Rio Oro into small chunks and deep fried in its own
renderings in big caldrons over a wood fire.
Crackings from the skin are a favorite starter. Cole
slaw and black beans (which were by far the best I
have ever eaten in CR) accompany the deep fried pork
pieces. We also bought a few beers, soft drinks and a
bottle of tequila. Everyone had a good time; no one
got out of control. We had about 20 people this
time-smaller than in years past.
We have "liquidated" all of our construction workers
and do not plan on any construction work until around
Jan. 15. Many will return to Nicaragua to be with
their families and hopefully, it's been a good year
for them. With us, they have had steady employment-a
situation which is abnormal in the construction
We were fortunate to have had life long friends of
ours join us for 5 days. They got rained out of a
sailing trip in Belize and came here early. Two
planned days with us turned into 5 days. It was
great, really great. Of course we ate and drank too
much but.. They had been here just after we had
purchased the property five years before. They were
amazed at how it had changed and how rapidly we had
done it. Approval from him was important to me as we
slung hammers together and did everything else
required to build when we were a lot younger.
Paul is preparing to leave for three weeks or so.
He's done a lot of prep work but I'll remain on site
to deal with various issues -of which I'm sure there
will be a few.
We are setting up for a quiet period-no construction,
a number of people away for holidays, friends not yet
arrived, Paul gone -I can't remember a time in CR in
the past 4 years that I'm looking at such a quiet
period. I might go mad, or read, or if worst comes to
worst, actually study Spanish -I now have no valid
After 6 mo. of talking about it and preparing for it,
Paul and I actually had the time to get my Ipod music
device going on Sunday. Now I have to learn how to
use it but that will follow -and I have 3800 songs to
We have been eating and drinking more than we
should-and laughing a lot. It's nice to see that the
community I envisaged has happened and now that we've
had the turnover meeting, that it will come of age on
it's own. It will be interesting to watch how it
Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon