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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

Oct. 18-23, 2004 // CONSTRUCTION LOG # 2

Overview

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.

Construction

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.

Architect

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.

Marketing

We had a wonderful article written about the project by Scott Oliver. Check it out at:

http://www.welovecostarica.com/content.php?cid=1075

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.

Building materials

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.

Personally

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 good...”

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)

 

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