Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Little Further Along! :)

The bodega is complete and at least two workers are living there at this time.  Others arrive by motorcycle or other means of transportation to work on the construction of our house.

Inside is open space with platform beds and a "kitchen" area.  The shower and bathroom areas are in separate buildings. 

Laundry hangs inside when it rains and outside when the weather permits.  Hummmm...just like our house!

A large pole for electricity and life is good!

While creating their "home", work continues on our home. The backhoe moves materials around and digs the holes required for the footings.  The finish work on the footing holes is all done by hand.  Gravel is put in the bottom and compressed with a hand compressor which I will share at the bottom of this blog page. 

As you can see, truckloads of gravel and soil have been delivered along with wood to use for forms.

With little extra room, everything gets piled close together.  Watching everyone work in such limited quarters is amazing.  When we first saw the property graded off it looked huge, however, our opinion of the size of our hilltop has changed dramatically!

Lots of large trenches, created by backbreaking work!  

On the side of the bodega a makeshift assembly line has been created to build the rebar forms required to construct the many columns that will be supporting our roof.  The workers work quickly and smoothly building amazingly uniform structures of different sizes.

These piles are only a small number of the 24 required.  However, I'm sure they will all be completed in just a few more days.  The men working on our house work very long days and often every day.  They are working when Don arrives with Roberto at 6:00 a.m. and they continue until late in the day.  We are not only impressed with the number of hours the men work but also, the quality of work we have observed.  Good for us, as it means our house should move along at a good speed! :)

Work is also needed on the road to make our property easier to access.  The backhoe never sits idle and on this day did some work to improve our road while waiting for his next project on site.

Here the road is being broken up and made loose to eliminate the holes that have been created.  Once there is loose gravel and the area is somewhat smoother, the backhoe packs it down.  I am constantly amazed by the talent and abilities of the backhoe owners that have worked for us.

Whoops!  One of the large trucks making deliveries ran over a large water main and caused quite a loss of water and some inconvenience for our neighbors.

Fortunately, repairs were made but the main is still sitting quite close to the edge of the road.

Our septic system is nearly complete.  The man in the photo is creating the concrete top to finish this part of the septic tank.  There are still drain fields to be created and soil to fill in around the sides.

Compacting with a hand compacter!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Beautiful Zarcero, Costa Rica!

A day trip to Zarcero turned out to be a delightful experience starting with the beautiful church in the center of town overlooking a spectacular park.

The inside of the church was breathtaking and meticulously maintained.

We assumed this was a type of casket for a child which was very ornate and beautiful but a little unsettling at the same time.

Leaving the church we look over the manicured park which is full of the most incredible gardens, shrubs and flowers.

Sculptures to walk through and admire!  The entire park was spectacular!

In front of these unusual sculptured gardens are our friends Guy and Maryse.  Not only are they wonderful friends, they are also our "social directors"!  We have a tendency to get caught up in our busy lives with the coffee finca, building a home, meeting new people, trying to learn Spanish, etc. and end up sticking close to home.  Since meeting Guy and Maryse, we have enjoyed some wonderful outings and are very grateful for their research and the little push they give us to get us out of  Berlin.  Thanks so much Guy and Maryse! You are greatly appreciated and we are looking forward to our next adventure!!  

Proof that we too were there!


Can you believe how big this sculpture is?  I cannot imagine creating or maintaining all of these characters. 

 Everywhere we looked and walked we discovered something different, unusual and beautiful!

Even the trash bins were covered with art work.  A very fun place to visit!

Let the Building Begin! :)

After two years living in Costa Rica, there is a light at the end of our tunnel!  Although we have had our share of road blocks, literally and figuratively, work has begun on the construction of our home.

The latest roadblock is the new concrete on the public road.  Although thrilled that the repairs are being made, there is approximately a two week waiting period before the large trucks required for construction are able to cross the concrete.  However, things are moving forward!

With all our permits and papers are approved we are using only small vehicles for awhile.  We also need some gravel added to the top of the road leading to our gate and then we will, hopefully, have full steam ahead!

As I walked to the property on Saturday to see what, if any, progress had been made; I had a wonderful view of the Turrialba Volcano's activity.  Here I am just a short distance from where we are currently living but the volcano is also visible from our property.

Once arriving at our property, I discovered that our house had been laid out with wooden stakes and string in order to get it situated in the right direction.

Our house takes up a large part of the top of the hill that we removed. Even though we have reduced it considerably because of the increasing cost of construction, it still covers much of the area we have to build on.

Where the pile of wood is on the left will be our garage.  The T-P of cana on the right was in the way of the bodega that is to be build to house the workers and construction supplies.  About 5 men will be staying in the bodega during the construction of our home.  Don spent the weekend trying to burn the stack of cana, with little success, thanks to wet cana, no wind and, of course, rain.

When I arrived on Monday morning the cana pile had been pushed out of the way along with a huge pile of top soil and the backhoe was there digging the septic.

It is amazing how quickly a backhoe can dig a huge hole and it's just where it is needed and just the right size!

As I was walking home on Monday, a good sized truck full of wood and metal headed down our road to the property.  The supplies were unloaded and we expect to see a bodega constructed in the next few days.

All the unloaded bodega supplies, including a toilet!  All the luxuries of home!

Also on Monday, they started digging the trench which our columns will sit on on the steep side of the property.  Because of the erosion problems here and proximity to the edge, the columns on this side of the house need to be secured by a process consisting of digging a trench to which about a meter of gravel is added.  Next a 3 or 4 inch drainage pipe, more gravel, plastic and top soil are added.  The original ditch, shown in the photo, is approximately 2 meters. At this point the area is ready to safely support the columns. 

More work for the backhoe!

Almost finished!

One more view of the ditch completed!

It is impressive to see how quickly the work of the past few days has been happening!   There actually may be a house in our future!!