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
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
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 WeLoveCostaRica.com
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
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
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