15 December, 2007

Now You'll Be Up-To-Date As Of December 12, 2007

Not only big trucks get repaired on the road. Franz was backing out and "Bang", his drive shaft universal joint blew. So, he calls a mechanic, he comes, and it gets fixed on the spot. Of course, they couldn't have completed the job without Dianna supervising.
Franz's Broken Truck
Dianna Helping
Here's a picture of one of 41 or so of the hurricane clips we have mounted to help keep the roof on in the event of a hurricane. Not only do we have the clips , but each rafter is screwed to the plate with a 5" lag screw.
The next picture is our main service panel for the house. It's mounted in the guest bedroom.
Hurricane Clip
Main Breaker Panel
Franz Ozman, the electrician, almost showing some plumber's crack. Would that be a code violation, or maybe some sort of ethical blunder? The next one is Dianna trying out the crank for the window louvers.
Ozman, the Electrician
Dianna and the Louvers
We had wanted a short wall with a bar of some sort separating the kitchen from the living room area. Abraham, the drywaller, suggested an arch of some sort.

Pre-arch, it was just a sheet of drywall. Then Abraham drew the arch and cut it out.
Abraham Drywalling the Arch
Abraham Cutting the Arch Out
Here it is in its earliest stage, having just been cut out of drywall.
The Arch
Now you can see it from the other side. The next shot is after it had actually been framed in. Abraham is putting in the last finishing piece of sheetrock. Pretty cool.
The Arch x Two
Fitting Sheetrock to the Arch
Now, here's a couple of interesting photos. Abraham, on the left is resting after a hard day's work, and is pondering how to hide wires coming out of the ceiling. On the other hand, Franz, on the right, tangled with something bad that he ate the night before and spent most of the day literally, bent over beside a small tree praying to O'Rourke. It totally wiped him out. At one point, he looked as white as a corpse.
Abraham Pondering Possibilities
Franz Pondering Existence Itself
Since we are so close to Mexico here in Corozal, it only stands to reason that we have a huge Spanish-speaking population. All of my workers speak at least some Spanish (many speak English, Spanish, Kreol, and some Mayan).

We were offered the opportunity for a conversational Spanish class to be offered by ITVET (Information Technology, Vocational Education and Training) Corozal, a vocational training center here in Corozal. The staff of the school had been looking for a way to be more involved with the community and this seemed to be a perfect fit.

Anyway, we just had our first preliminary meeting, getting to meet the school director, our instructor, the support staff and other students. The two pictures below show some of that meeting.

The course will be twice a week in the evenings and will go for three months. If it's a success, there may be more advanced courses in the future.

This should be a fun course with real-life applicability, as everyone wants to learn to talk to sales people, workers, domestic help, doctors, etc., better than we can now. It will make life much easier for all concerned.
ITVET Corozal Staff
Barb Schubert, Course Organizer
Here's the interior walls going up. Steel studding is used more and more down here as the price of wood is rising rapidly. Government is restricting how much lumber can be cut and for what purposes too. It is amazing the exotic hardwoods available here and what it's used for. Imagine using mahogany and other extremely hard woods as forms for concrete!
Abraham Framing the Walls With Dianna's Help
Abraham Putting Up the Walls With Dianna's Assistance
Concurrent with the walls goes the wiring. Here Ozman is stringing wire while Abraham is still fitting framing.
More Walls
More Walls
And in short order, drywall (or sheetrock) begins to magically appear.
Abraham Working
Discussion About Framing
Of course, resting is a necessary part of construction. This house seems tailor-made for just that. Here's Dianna trying out the resting capability of the house, first on our back porch, watching Franz coming up in his pickup, then with Cody and Monique, in the yard.
A Comfy Back Porch
A Comfy Block to Sit On
Across the street, Mae and Craig hired John Paul, the previous owner, to reconstruct the round palapa on their property. Here it is, with John Paul having just completed framing it. All ready for the thatch, laying on the ground, to be applied.
Round Palapa
As they were getting ready to head back to Guinea Grass after a hard day, Franz's crew had a chuckle as one of them picked a flower for Franz. They placed it on the back of the truck and all thought that was hilarious... Ok, maybe you had to have been there. What can I say?
A Flower For Franz

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