Oct. 18-23, 2004 // CONSTRUCTION LOG # 2
Not a very exciting week unless you’re really into
septic systems and rain water distribution systems—all
of which are buried and not seen (hopefully) ever again. …and
it rained almost every day for several hours in the afternoons
crating a great muddy mess.
We’ve buried two 2,500 liter septic tanks, dug and
installed 4 absorption holes, and dug and installed about
450 ft. of leach field beds. We’ve had countless truck
loads of river rock, and “lastre” which is a compactable
type of gravel and the consequent removal of dirt which was
replaced with the aggregates. As luck would have it, one of
the absorption pits was smack in the middle of a ribbon of
clay —no way was it going to percolate and do the job
for which it was intended –we had created the best natural
swimming pool we could and we couldn’t dig our way thru
it so --the maestro de obra (site superintendent), being the
clever guy he is, reversed the slope on the leach line and
rather than being the end of the line, it became the front
and we got a useless, non-functioning hole to refill. We are
now connecting the leaders from the houses into the main trunk
lines and also installing the rain water pipes which will
be connected to the rainwater trunk line we installed previously
and /or into absorption pits which we previously installed.
By Wednesday of next week, I expect to have all this work
covered, extra soil removed, roadbed and parking areas covered
with aggregate. At that stage we will be ready to dig the
footings for the houses.
On the previous 5 houses, this work was done last simply
due to site design. I didn’t want heavy trucks running
over septic tanks—they aren’t designed for that.
In this case, we need to get them buried and finished while
we can get backhoe access to the area. Once the houses are
started, that won’t be possible.
Meanwhile, work continued to progress on building the re-bar
reinforcing cages for footings, beams, and columns. These
will be ready when required.
All this required relocating three palm trees, one being
a coconut palm, and several substantial ficus Benjamin trees.
We ended up landscaping the area on the west side of our house
which was a parking lot. In the near future, the entry to
the property will be changed and the new parking lot created.
It was time to landscape this area especially since we had
to move the trees and had grass to be removed. In a month,
it will look like it’s been there a long time.
Comment on the backhoe operators: These guys are absolutely
fantastic here; they can thread a needle with the hoe and
then go on to crocheted delicate lace. The have absolute control
over their machine at all times and always respect it. Backhoe
w/ operator is 7,000 colones / hr or $15.50 USD.
The architect is trying to get the changes made to the drawings
and again is having problems getting it all together but with
persistence and patience, it will happen. My nick name (by
some) is “Cpt. Hindgrinder” —I don’t
let up until it’s done.
I would like to think I’m getting closer to having
the legal documents such that they are fully integrated. A
review of the shareholder agreement revealed that all was
not right. When this are finalized, we have people interested
in #114, #111, and #109.
We had a wonderful article written about the project by
Scott Oliver. Check it out at:
Scott wrote the book Costa Rica’s Guide to Making Money
Offshore in Bull and Bear Markets. He’s really a financial
consultant / strategist more than anything else. His website
is full of good information on Costa Rica.
The container of building materials I shipped from Canada
should be arriving this week. Then we’ll have the “joy”
of getting it released from Customs. I fully expect this to
be a long and frustrating process for a number of reasons.
More on that later.
Again the parrot takes center stage: On Thursday,
Lita had her at the pool where she was visiting and swimming.
It was on a rock and couldn’t get down. She got spooked
by something and flew away —further than she’s
ever flown before. I had spoken with Lita about checking it’s
wing feathers and if necessary, clipping them. Well, she didn’t
and... She gathered help, including the gardener and all four
of them went on a parrot hunt. Ended up having to go to the
neighbour’s, past gigantic dogs, (the neighbour was
very nice and understanding), the gardener climbed to the
top of a tall tree (the parrot hates the gardener but she
hates everyone so...) and of course the parrot flew off again
but in this case, back to our property. Somehow after numerous
attempts at coaxing, the bird came to Lita’s hand. Lita’s
heart rate dropped a 50 points and she was so tried from the
stress she went to bed at 7pm. Needless to say, the parrot
got her wings clipped shortly thereafter and now hates the
gardener even more —actually, I think the gardener perversely
liked clipping her wings even though now she won’t be
able to fly away. Now the parrot has returned to proudly sitting
on that lump on the bed under which is the cat, who has taken
refuge -- terrified!!! Hugo comes out when the bird is in
her cage. He usually sleeps on the sofa near the bird I think
mainly to torment the bird saying in effect:—I’m
free and you’re caged, ha! ha! Who’s laughing
now you green, ugly bird. I bet you don’t even taste
The dog, Canuck, has successfully avoided Lita who wants
to give him a bath for ticks and fleas.
Last Sunday we took a drive up the mountain to Volcan
Poas. There are a number of different agricultural zones that
you go thru each growing different items. A nice drive, some
great views of the valley, wonderful eats, and restaurants,
We strung a lot more lights around the property for night
lighting. It’s a start in the right direction. Much
more needs to be done to brighten the darkness of the garden
at night but that will have to wait until much later. The
hammock is becoming my favorite evening retreat.
And this week was noted by a wonderful squash soup, fantastic
grilled fish, and delicious pasta. Our citrus trees are producing
prodigious amounts of fruit; we have a frond of bananas ripening
on our terrace —one that the gardener didn’t get.
The banana trees we planted last year are growing but are
not yet ready to bear fruit. Perhaps another year; I don’t
know; I’m a beginner in banana growing.
It’s easy to understand why some people prefer the
“rainy” or “green” season over the
dry season (Dec.-May). This year, unlike last year, the rains
have been mild here in the central valley (Santa Ana), anyway,
and are beautiful in the way they water the plants and support
life. I always wondered if I would like it and I do.
Today was beautiful –around 75 F or 23 C, still and
sunny --up to about 4pm at which time a light shower came
complete with gorgeous rainbow. Some of the residents had
guests over and a party around the large pool. It was nice
seeing people enjoy the product of my work and vision and
to see how well it worked for them —not that they had
any understanding or care as to what went in to what they
were enjoying. That’s o.k.; I’m sure they have
expertise I don’t.
And that’s it...
Brian, Lita, Hugo (the cat) and Vicka (the parrot)