Despite all my best intentions to keep our blog regular and chronicle the slow progress of our house construction, months have passed and I have not made a post. But today I feel inspired so here is an update.
Thanks to the help of many people, we raised the funds to raise our roof! For that we are so grateful!! Just in time too…..as we are now in full rainy season and it rains every single day.
And, we even managed to get our floor installed! We had purchased sustainably harvested nispero for our floor back in the spring. Nispero is a tropical hardwood that is nearly unparalleled in strength and durability, as well as beauty. But when we uncovered it from where it sat under a tarp we discovered that it didn’t look very good. The boards were crooked, the tongue and grooves were far from perfect, and the wood had yucky watermarks all over it. The floor company we hired to install it raised their price significantly to agree to work with this wood because it was so difficult. We went through another great round of despair over the cost and stress of another stage in our project. It was really important to us that floor be NICE, but this wood did not seem NICE at all….. It was so bad that at one point we debated whether to just buy different flooring. But somehow we perservered, and after the floor was sanded several times……thankfully the beauty of the wood revealed herself and we now find ourselves with a GORGEOUS nispero wood floor. The color is very sweet with honey and rose tones. Just like the fruit of nispero, which I have recently tried and it super sweet and rich.
Next on the list of projects was to sand and varnish the yayo posts that are a central feature of our house. Remember back in the spring when we waited (and stopped our entire construction project) for TWO WHOLE MONTHS for these posts to be delivered???? These are what we waited for. The reason we fell in love with this wood is because it has lots of undulating curves and grooves in it. We just discovered that they are fun to look at, but not so fun to sand! The sanding required days of tedious work. Luckily for us, we found two new wonderful workers, Xavier and his son Francisco, who did a fantastic job sanding them for us. Once sanded and varnished, the yayos radiated with beauty, and now I feel glad that we waited for this wood. Their uniqueness adds a touch of Elvish beauty to our house that is truly magical.
In the midst of these projects, we have succeeded in dealing with the mystifying bureaucracy that is the Costa Rican Electrical Company and we now have electricity in our house! This is no small feat, and has required more hours that you would believe of going around and around with different versions of information and actual installation of electrical wires and gadgets, plus many more hours waiting in line at the office, plus many glasses of wine and beer drunk to relieve ourselves of the accumulated stress of navigating our way through this mess of a maze. At one point it even involved a whole day of digging up cables that we paid twice to be installed correctly, only to find that in the end we had a muddy mess like this to deal with. (Actually this photo was taken after it was significantly improved and cleaned up)
If this wasn’t enough major news to share, the other big development is that we have moved to a small guest house next door to our construction site, so that we could be present to work and manage the construction better. This has been a long overdue move and now we are able to fully engage ourselves in all aspects of the manifestation of our house. From the time we wake up at dawn to when we fall asleep we are thinking, working, or planning some aspect of the completion of our house. We are planning on moving into our casita November 1, with or without walls. The walls (or lack thereof) are a whole other story, which I will explain in a future post. Our move, like most moves tend to be, has been quite stressful and chaotic. The combined conditions of living on the side of very steep hill, in a very small space with no storage, during the rainy season that involves a lot of mud and wet clothes, and an 18 month old toddler has made our daily reality very dirty, wet and exhuasting. But hey, as they say here in Costa Rica….PURA VIDA!!