12 July, 2010

Not Quite By June 1st

Hurricane preparedness sometimes is a fluid thing. On the one hand, you follow your checklist (you do have a checklist, right?) and get all your important papers in one place, preparedness supplies ready to grab, generator ready to roll, car tank filled at least half-full, etc.

One thing we wanted in place for the start of hurricane season was our burglar bars. People run hot or cold on these things. I do think they're miss-named. They should be named storm bars or something. Burglar protection is like a lot of other items - they tend to encourage honest people to stay honest. If you're home, burglar bars might give you some early warning as the bad guys attempt to hacksaw through them or something. They might just slow the bad guys down enough to allow you to wake up and take some other meaningful defensive action. If you're not home, hopefully your neighbors might see or hear something.

There's also the fire safety thing. Folks don't care for the idea that they may be trapped inside and can't climb out through the windows. I didn't say there weren't trade-offs.

The main reason I have them is for hurricane protection. Mine have a half-inch track, top and bottom, to allow me to slide a piece of plywood in that effectively blocks the window louvers from being in the direct flight path of any high-velocity debris that might be coming our way. I figure it's a lot easier to replace the plywood than to replace the whole window louver.

Well, it's a personal choice. You either want them or you don't. I do. Pretty much the same reasoning that we don't have any glass windows in either house. I don't want flying shards either.
Isaiel Drilling Mounting Holes for the Bars
Isaiel Pech (who also happens to be my Godson) is from Guinea Grass, south of Orange Walk, came over yesterday to install the bars. He's done most of the metal work on our place. The gates, fence pieces, most of the metal screen doors, decorative hose hangers, etc.

The bars had aged a bit. He had them ready to install over a year ago when we stopped construction for a while. This was the first opportunity we had to install them.
Tightening Lag Screws
Isaiel's older brother Romeoleo came along to help with the installation. Isaiel also brought his wife Amarilly and son, Joshua along. They had a nice visit with Dianna while the installation was in progress.

Just in time for the World Cup Final, we all got together in front of the tube to watch the game and to have some of Dianna's homemade pizza. I wanted Holland, but everyone else was rooting for Spain. Turns out they were right. It was a fun match anyway.
Completed Burglar Bar
The bars end up being a nice and clean looking installation.

While Isaiel was working, we talked a bit about DIY television shows. He just recently got current (electricity) run to his house, so he's pretty proud of that. He also has cable TV and his favorite shows are the DIY home repair shows.

I was talking to him about how you can learn techniques, find out about new tools, etc. He said that yes, that was true. He had been watching one show with some welding being done and the host was using some sort of magnetic tool to hold small metal pieces so they could be welded true and square without needing to have an assistant. Later, he had gone to a Mennonite hardware store and asked about it. The guy had some and demonstrated how it would work. Isaiel ended up buying one to try. He had it with him.
Isaiel's New Welding Tool
The new tool works so well, he's now planning on getting two or three more. You watch. Another three or four years, skills and tools will improve all over Belize. Ah, modern technology.


Anonymous said...

Best wishes for continued progress with all your improvements, and thanks for chronicling them; it is interesting and informative. In this post you again mention that you have a Belizean godson, and you've given some description of this relationship before, so we apologize for asking. However, at risk of appearing to pry, we wish to know your understanding of the roll of godparents, and how they are chosen in your adopted culture. Baptismal godparents and godparents as occasional benefactors seem traditional and customary in some latin families, yet we thought these must be designated by the godchild's natural parents. It would seem there other customs that are not clear to outsiders.


Otho and Kaethe

Dave Rider said...

Hi Otho and Kaethe,

Thanks for your comments and your question. I really had to stop and think about it for a bit before dashing off an answer.

This is different from being baptismal godparents. You're right baptismal godparents are chosen by the godchild's parents.

In Mexican culture, a couple can choose their godparents. Turns out that being chosen as godparents or El Padrino (I think Dianna would be termed La Madrina), is a matter of great respect in their culture.

The godparents are thought to be wise folks (who, us?) chosen to help and advise the couple all through their engagement, as well as later when they face problems in their married life.

We met Isaiel through some other folks who had had him make burglar bars and doors for them. We liked his work, so contacted him and arranged to have work done ourselves.

Over the course of the next few months we got to know Isiael better and found out he was planning to get married. We met his fiance once or twice when she accompanied him on the journey to our place.

We were surprised when Isiael and Amarilly asked us to be their godparents for the wedding. At first we thought it was just a formality or something. It was interesting when we were told that we would have an active role to play in the wedding ceremony itself.

As a sign of respect, the godparents are given a special place by the couple in the wedding ceremony. It was our responsibility during the ceremony, after the exchange of vows, to place the El Lazo, or 'the Lasso', a fancy white looped rope (sometimes a white ribbon might be used), around the couple's necks to signify the union of the two in an unbreakable bond of love and trust.

Turns out, we have, more or less, become part of the family since the wedding. We actually have advised Isaiel and Amarilly on some issues and they've come to us for advice or other help. We even got to help pick the name for their first child. Altogether, it's been a very nice and rewarding relationship. Far more than we would have ever expected.

Hope this helps clarify things a bit.


Anonymous said...

"El quien no tiene padrinos no se bautiza"
(He who has no godfathers doesn't get baptized)
This means: "You can't get anywhere without connections."