"A Horrible Week", "A Very Pleasant Surprise" and "A Seasona

ISSUE #167: DEC 17-22, 2007



When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly news letter —determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have resales and rental availabilty. Some readers may be interested in this information.

More and more, the content will be dominated by events of our new project, "El Dorado" for short. While the future is always uncertain, I again aim to tell it like it happens —the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that is what follows.

In an effort to make the format more interesting and visually appealing and to field inquiries re. El Dorado, the news letter is now being distributed by Jan Kozak, Marketing Manager, Hacienda El Dorado. I will remain the author.


Website: The changes and updates are still way behind.


We held a Christmas party for the workers—same as last year—they buy a dressed pig, cut it up, render the fat, deep fry the meat to make "chicharrones"— coleslaw, tortillas, a couple beers each, some music, a soccer ball and a party is on!!!!! It's always a lot of fun; the workers have such a great time and they are just wonderful to be with.  Again I'll say it as I have every year, that I've never met a crew—and the crew always differs from year to year— of  people I really like to be with. This time we had a RE agent and some clients who experienced the event as well.  They returned to tell me they really enjoyed themselves.

Most of our crew is Nicaraguan. This is the time of year they return to their families. We, along with other construction sites, are substantially wound down until around January 7. Not much happens anywhere and that will be the case with us.


Architect: We have all the designs for the Maya Tower but some require some changes. We have as yet to receive the rendering which would make that end of the package complete.

We had difficulty laying out buildings 11A and 11B. Why? Because we had two sets of measurements and the one given the surveyor was substantially larger than what should have been used. Icon scaling has to be consistent with floor plan scaling. This is basic but I remember a case in the NATO development of a military tank—some N. Am. contractors developed in imperial measurements; European developers built in metric. When the transmission was to be connected to the drive—it didn't fit. Measurements are important!

Surveyor:  We have the buildings 11A and 11B located now that we have the correct measurements.

Fence:  It continues

Well: We reached bedrock at 45 meters and stopped. We'll be drilling a 2nd well.  While it will be twice the price, it does give us better reliability of a critical element—water. If one well fails or if it has to be taken out of service for maintenance, we have a back up.

Bridge:  It's holiday season;  no movement on this.

Retaining Walls: These are under construction and will continue to be over the holiday season with a separate holiday crew.

Land Fill / Earth Moving: We continue to carve out surplus soil from the future site of Maya Tower.  We have to take the base down another 1.4 meters.


For Sale:  Nothing available at the moment but January should see two units on the market.

Shareholders Meeting: The shareholders meeting went as scheduled. The agenda was accomplished with a few follow up items.

Texas Hold'em: Continues even though there are competing demands for time during the Holiday season.


Weather:  No rain, warm, mostly sunny, not very breezy, and wonderful.
Work: "A Horrible Week";  I didn't  enjoy this week—I felt like the meat in the sandwich being devoured by a pack of hungry, wild dogs.

My previous training taught me to investigate first, find out what happened and why, and then, if there is malfeasance involved or if a consequence to a screw up is warranted, to deal with it. My experience has also  taught me that hasty lynchings are wrong headed.

Experience has also taught me that different individuals/groups can simply have different perspectives which cannot be reconciled. Either they learn to live with those disagreements and move on or one or both move to another level in a different forum.

In the past, I've described myself as a cross between a Canadian and American –a "cultural mutt"  since I lived in each country about the same length of time. Perhaps it's because I was born American and it's said that the formative years are indelible to behavior in later life that I've not been able to always compromise—the Canadian trait. The culturalized/socialized /pasteurized Canadian part of me  learned to "compromise";  the raw, unadulterated "American" in me is prepared to do battle. The Canadian would probably compromise when differing positions become intractable; the American in me would prepare for battle. It's a constant tug of war which I solve with a sleeping pill.

As a "mutt" I'm a prisoner of my heritage and conditioning—right or wrong.

Note:  I do not use the "American" or "Canadian" labels to apply to anyone other than me by way of explaining  my decisions / behavior.

Lita:  The parrot story: I received a lot of positive feedback on this hilarious story. I didn't embellish it—just recorded it for others to appreciate. The parrot behaved herself this week; she's been caged most of the time—and this is what one does with the Hannibal Lecters of the world!!!!  (Lita loves her, what can I say?)  I find it amazing that she manages to get all the sunflower seed shells on the terrace floor and none in her cage……she knows I sweep them up!!!!!  We glare at each other and she tries to bite me through the cage—I speculate that some day she will bit her way through the cage and the fight to the death will be on!!!! (I can't wait!!!)

Lita has been busy with Christmas. She's gone off shopping for presents (I wonder if she got any for me?) and has been busy wrapping them. She's fashioned her own wrapping and has done a tremendous job. Her accomplishments are even more incredible when one realizes she's blind. Perhaps this is why no one (including me)  cuts her any slack for her disability. She's amazing!!!!!

Another Pleasant Surprise:  I received a phone call from a very dear friend from my previous life who I hadn't heard from for about 14 years. He's an incredible tradesman, and a wonderful human being. He works hard, does incredible work, and hasn't made any money for so long he can't remember when the last time was.  He's burnt out, discouraged and, like I was, is beginning to look around for an alternative, for a new beginning, for ????  We'll see if my unbridled enthusiasm motivates him to visit us and check out CR.

Note: In my year end reflections, two prominent events for "thankfulness" are foremost on my list--the pleasant surprises—renewed contact—with two previous people who I had defined as "life long and valued friends"—one from a three year absence and one from a 14 year hiatus.  It will be these two events—independent of one another and coming within 3 weeks of one another—that I will value and give thanks for, tipple each with a nice sip of 23 yr. old rum and a nice cigar.

Seasonal Note:  Despite my horrible week and my "mutt" cultural conditioning, I continue to seek  and wish to all, health,  peace, happiness, satisfaction,  fulfillment, smooth sailing and a passion for tomorrow.  Anything less than this is a disappointment and a lost opportunity.

Our holiday plans include the opportunity—and promise—of much delicious food, drink and frivolity and the association with friends while thinking of other friends and family members scattered around the world.

Brian, Lita, Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies— Chico and Chica.

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