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New Construction

Lease / purchase

Phase 3: The construction of the remaining 11 residences.

Scheduled to begin in November with completion expected
by January 31.

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Progress Report

Mar. 26- Apr. 3, 2005 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #25

Pictures: Show mainly the floor slab pour and what will be one of three laundry rooms.


Synopsis: Preparation for slab pouring in the 7 houses under construction dominated the new construction and finishing details and cleaning of 108 took centre stage.

New Construction: Final adjustment to slab height, minor compacting, a vapor barrier installation as well as wire mesh with spacers were all part of the preparation process for the concrete pour which occurred on Friday afternoon and Saturday. The pour went flawlessly —about 72 cubic meters. The screed lines did their work and allowed for the wet concrete to be leveled and worked with ease.

The Permit: The person we hired to expidite this process took an extended Semana Santa holiday. According to him, he lost his cell phone in the river —yea, I’ve got problems with that one as well. We are now told that he will retrieve it from the College of Architects and Engineers Monday, and it will be through the Min. of Salud (Health) by Wednesday and ready for submission to the City of Santa Ana where we will then await their decision as to what other, if any, issues are to be addressed —Envionmental.

Renovations: Finishing details —final painting, finish lighting, tiling and grouting as well as the installation of sinks, toilets, and faucets were all done. The tiling upstairs on the staircase was completed – this was a major job as it involves a lot of work. We ended up using a wide grout line of washed concrete to make it a “rustic” as well as washed concrete on the step nosing all takes a lot of time.

We spent several days buying decorations and furnishings. We’re a long way from being done but have to install what we have in order to figure out what we don’t have. This time we added two large TVs, a surround sound system and a stereo system. Cabinetry had been designed with these in mind.

Sunday morning we awoke to a flood —on the second floor, of course. I’ve never had a plumbing problem anywhere other than the top floor. This allows the water to seep through all the ceilings and floors below and for everyone to later blow their brains out. In this case (typical) one of the isolation valves on the bidet had been left open when the main water supply was turned on. Of course, no one checked for such an eventuality. So now we have some more work to do. I bought a bottle of bloody mary drink to which I dumped the remaining Caciaque.

Marketing: We have one person here this week looking us over closely and looking over CR and a future life for he and his wife. He’s attended several seminars, spoken with a lawyer, had dinner with Scott Oliver of as well as a number of people on the property. He’s been studies in his research, reading lots of literature, asking lots of questions and on Monday, he returns to report to his wife.

We had a couple on the property who had been following our construction logs. They describe themselves as being very interested and after they return from a two month visit to Ohio, will be in touch with us. They have owned a condo in Tamarindo, sold it, and are now renting. They want to move to the Central Valley for a number of reasons —a better quality of life —great restaurants and grocery stores as well as movies and shopping areas—as well as being closer to good medical care and it is COOLER here. I found them to be very nice – it didn’t hurt that they continued to complement me on my construction logs —I butter up very easily. They asked good questions. One comment they made got me to thinking. They said they liked the fact that I acknowledged the screw ups and the hold ups; to them the logs appeared more credible. I remember thinking about this and the uncertainty of the future when I committed to write these. I figured the truth could be embarrassing (and still could) and wondered if I would be bold enough to report it. I felt I would be because I felt there were likely to be readers who want to know what they might face were they to be in my situation. Perhaps, they could learn from my mistakes as well as any successes I had.

VOIP Phone: IT IS NOW OPERATIONAL. My Toronto number —which rings here in CR is: 416-907-5758. We are usually near that phone by
8 PM. Toronto time —that is 6 PM here in CR— daylight savings time adjusted. If we do not answer it, an answering device will come on —leave the normal message, we will get it and return your call— probably the next day.


A clash of Cultures: Easter Sunday sported a wonderful day —like all the others. Two resident professors on sabbatical and living here have two young boys —6 & 8 years old. The Easter Bunny had to come even in CR. They dyed the eggs and Kias, the father, got up at 5 am. and him them around the pool. The gardener who arrived at 6, proceeded to wash everything down (as is his normal duties) and washed the dye off the eggs. He then proceeded to pile half the eggs neatly in a pile. When the kids came to look for them, half were found and the gardener proceeded to show them where the other half was “hidden”. Over Manhattans, this was funny.

A Party: One of the residents, a French Canadian, hosted an Easter party —complete with band and food. He invited a lot of Ticos to compliment the Los Jardines residents and it was a fantastic combination. Lots of life, fun, great food, swimming, pool games, dancing, and of course, the odd drink. I don’t know that any lasting friendships were made but it was certainly nice that we, as foreigners, shared with others, the little piece of heaven we’ve created in their country. Dancing is not my forte nor that of many N. Am. men but I did and so did another N. Am. whose forte is was not either —hope we haven’t started something our wives will come to expect— we can only attribute this act of ridiculous spontaneity to the Manhattans!!!! They did it!

A dinner: Wednesday evening I hosted Scott Oliver, his fiancée, our researching guest, my wife and I —the parrot was not invited but made her presence heard anyway! Scott had mentioned he loved lamb; I had a fresh leg of lamb in the frig—boned and marinated and ready for the bar-b-q. This along with a red wine Hunter sauce, roasted potatoes, vegetables, and a butter lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette dressing and not to mention several bottles of a wonderful red wine contributed by Scott —resulted in wonder meal. The conversation, however, was even better —learning about someone else, their story leading hear, and sharing of knowledge and experiences. Certainly, the scotch and cigars which followed added to top off the evening.

On Sunday we took a drive to the Orosi Valley —a picturesque area south west of Cartago. Had a nice lunch, bought an orchid, didn’t get lost —a major accomplishment— and now ready for the hammock.

This next week sees Derek returning to Canada, a CR based boating mate return through here, and on Wednesday the return of the purchaser of 108 as well as the purchaser of 107. Mr. 107 needs to make some decisions before I begin to tear it apart. I also have a person arriving on the Thursday, April 7 who I’ll be housing for several months. A busy week and musical beds, chairs, etc.

Brian, Lita, Hugo and Vicka

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