80. Want To Go On A Trip With Us?

Candle Would You Like To Go On An Adventure GIF from Candle GIFs Saturday 5/21- You may remember about 9 months ago the fun we had with our very first border run when we went to El Salvador. Long story short- we flew there, stayed the night, tried to leave the next morning, got trapped in an airport, spent an extra day in El Salvador due to a canceled flight, and finally got home a day later than expected (read all about it in Blog Posts 38 & 39). Well, we decided to try it again! People are having trouble with the Panama border again so we decided not to risk the land crossing and to fly somewhere instead. Once again, El Salvador was the least expensive country to fly to that you don’t need a COVID test for, so we are going back, hopefully this time really for only one night. We got up this morning at the same time we always do (I’m usually awake before 4:30 and out of bed by 5, Ramie usually sleeps till around 6). We left the house at 7 to bring Breeze to the dog sitter. We de

54. Back Into the HEAT

Thursday 12/2- After a good night’s sleep back in our tropical home we woke up refreshed enough to get back to our regular routine. We worked on putting away the things that we didn’t put away last night when we got home, we started unpacking the suitcases, and we drank some coffee on our porch in the 80 degree weather, instead of having to suffer the freezing temperatures of MN, which actually wasn't freezing but it sure felt like it to us. After working on all of this for a while, it was a reasonable time to head over to the neighbor’s house to pick up Breeze. We messaged Stuart to make sure they were home and when he said that they were available we headed down to bring our doggy home. When we got there and she saw us, she sure did seem happy, but maybe not quite as excited as she sometimes does when we go pick her up. From the sounds of it, she and Jet (Stuart & Gem’s dog) are good friends now and I think Breeze really enjoyed living with her for these last few weeks. After gathering up Breeze’s things we brought her back home. She did seem quite happy to be back in her regular house and her regular routine.

We spent maybe an hour with Breeze continuing to unpack and organize things before we headed to our house. Geiner was going to meet us there so we waited until he said he was ready to meet us.. When we got there we were shocked! OMG (not the mini golf course, hahaha) they got a lot done since we left. Yes, Geiner had been sending picture updates, but to actually see it in person was impressive. They had officially been working on it now for 1 month (first day of construction was 11/2) and it was 3 ½ weeks since we had been here. When we left they were working on the footings, when we returned there was concrete, walls, a roof, and a POOL! Geiner really wasn’t kidding when he said that they would have the roof on by the time we came back! 


 
An actual photo of the power hookup they are using to work on our house

This is the house that we had designed, walked through in our minds, walked through in a field with a string lay out, and now got to walk through the structure. We both probably had stupid grins on our faces as we walked through and were checking things out.

via GIPHY

We went through it first just to take it all in, then we walked through room by room with Geiner to talk about what was finished, what was next, and changes that we saw that we would want. We saw some things that weren’t done exactly according to the plan, some things we could still change, some things were too far along to make changes to and we would just work around. We spent about 3 hours at the house and finally left feeling really good about how far along it has come. Our input was given and it was time to head back home, but first we stopped at the grocery store in town to pick up things we would need for the week before we could go to San Isidro to do our big shopping trip. Then back home to cuddle with Breeze who probably feels pretty neglected by now.

Friday 12/3- Since yesterday was a full day of unpacking, organizing, and spending time down at our new house we hadn’t had a chance to dig into the problem with the stinky water. Today we would dig in to figure out what was going on, why it still stunk, and how to fix the problem.

The first step that Ramie took was draining out the holding tank. This is no small tank, so he turned off the fill valve, opened the drain, and we went for our walk in the morning. By the time we came back it was mostly empty so he decided that the next step would be to scrub out the inside of the tank to get rid of whatever was causing the problem. In the meantime he also opened up the water filter housing to drain that out and discovered the issue– the water filter was covered in green, slimy, nasty gunk. Well, that would do it! And no amount of letting the water run or cleaning out the tank would ever fix that! So, out came the filter, he thoroughly cleaned the housing that the filter goes into, and since the tank was already empty, he ended up scrubbing that out too, then bleaching the tank to kill any nastiness. The tank had probably never been cleaned so it definitely didn't hurt to go through all this work. The whole process of draining and flushing the tank and refilling it completely took a good chunk of the day, but that’s sometimes how things work here. It’s best only to have 1 item on your “to do” list for the day, because you just never know how long it will take to accomplish that item. Any extra time that you have to do other things is purely a bonus!

Now that our water should be fresh and clean, we got to relax for the rest of the day.

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Happy birthday to Taryn

Sunday 12/5- In Costa Rica a lot of people work on Saturdays and their only real day off is Sunday. Geiner’s crew is no different. Since they don’t work on Sunday, we decided that it would be a great time for Ramie and I to go down to the house on our own so we could really look at things without getting in anyone else’s way or them getting in ours. We went down there with a tape measure and a notepad. Our plan was to make a list of things that we saw that needed to be changed or fixed and questions that we had. We spent about 3 hours at the house again and ended up with a punch list much longer than either of us had anticipated. After we had our detailed list written out we went back home to organize the list and get a hold of Geiner to find out when he would be out at the house tomorrow so we could go through all of these punch list items. 


Monday 12/6- Geiner and Christain (the electrician) had let us know that they would be at the house right away in the morning today, so we met them right away to go through all of the items on the list. We went through everything item-by-item until we were satisfied that all of the things we were concerned about would be fixed or adjusted. Wouldn’t you know it, once again, it took about 3 hours for us to go through everything with them. This seems to be a trend- every time we go to the house it takes us about 3 hours!

Geiner told us today that he figures the house will be finished significantly ahead of schedule. Originally he had estimated about mid-March, he knows it for sure won’t take that long!! He did tell us that he ordered the tile for the inside of the house, but we need to double-check on the availability of the tile we wanted on the deck as well as pick tile for the pool and for the showers. He asked us to get these items picked out quickly as he would need some lead time to order it, and they would be ready to start installing it soon. This is all very good news for us, we are super excited for things to be moving along so quickly!

We have kind of been wondering why things are moving along so much faster than originally anticipated and we have a couple of theories (and agreement from both Geiner and Loren on the accuracy of our possible theories). 1) November wasn’t as rainy as it sometimes is. At the beginning of the build when they were pouring concrete and before the roof was on, rain was a big concern. If it rained too much it could potentially shut them down for days. Fortunately for us, the rain wasn’t terrible this November so it gave them a lot of time to get it far enough along that rain wouldn’t be a hindrance any more. 2) The next door neighbor started building their house shortly after we left in November. They (Geiner & Loren) think that there might be a little bit of competitive spirit going on and our crew wants to show the neighbor’s crew how quickly they can get it done. Well, it is very clear that our house will be done long before the neighbor’s house. BUT, there is one significant difference to note, that house is fully constructed of concrete cinder blocks. Theirs will undoubtedly take significantly longer just because of the nature of the build. You know, in my opinion it’s all good! As long as the quality and accuracy of our build doesn’t suffer, they can be as competitive and fast as they want!


Pura Vida!

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