Pura Vida

This week had its share of ups and downs. We received the preliminary floor plans from the architect. We like their ideas which include changing the interior roof structure, slightly changing the layout of two rooms, adding a second bathroom and all new windows and doors. We were trying to figure out how the remodel project could be finished by the end of September. Meanwhile, a gringo electrician came to our new house to give us a price on getting the electrical service connected and the house re-wired. Although he's a trained electrician he knows a thing or two about house construction. He picked up on the settling that has occurred in a corner of the master bedroom. This supposedly happened during a large earthquake several years ago. His advise was to have a structural engineer look at the settling and some other issues with the foundation before beginning to invest in the remodel. We took his advice and have decided to slow down and instead of trying to get the house fixed we will be getting the 275 square foot workers house in shape for us to live in until we decide if the existing house is a tear down or if it can be fixed.

The worker's house has a shower, toilet and sink. It's the last room at the end of the stables shown in this picture. It's incredibly small. I have never lived in such a small space. We will have a stove and regular size refrigerator. It's critical that someone is on site during house construction. Things go wrong, questions need to be answered and someone needs to keep the building supplies safe. Living in the worker's house will allow us to be there full time when we make a decision about what to do with the existing "big" house. The electrician put is in contact with another gringo in Puriscal that has built several homes in the area. He put us in touch with a local electrician that will get the worker's house wired and the phone line installed. I have confidence all will be in order for us to make the big move in about 8 weeks.

Other than concentrating on the house, we were successful with renting a post office box in Puriscal. I was shocked at how simple that process was. In contrast to that we are trying to open a bank account for our corporation. This is going much more like the typical tico way of doing things. We went to two different banks, got two different requirements lists and decided to go with the bank with the shortest list. We went there with papers in hand only to be handed a completely different list of requirements. This is typical of how things are done here. I'm sure we will persevere but must remain calm and not take setbacks too serious. The ticos have a saying about their lifestyle, it's "Pura Vida". Translated it means pure life, which fits their culture of living for today and not worrying about the uncontrollable faucets of life.

We did have a little fun yesterday at a party thrown by our landlords. We met some interesting people, ate good food and drank nice wine. I met a woman who is involved with a group of private landowners that are preserving the nature of their land. This is something I am extremely interested in. One of the things that surprised me when we moved here was to find out about the general lack of environmental concern by the majority of the populace. This is a beautiful country but in many ways it has been devastated by the amount of clear cutting of forests, pollution and poorly planned development. It's my primary concern to protect our 80 acres, let nature regain her foothold there and be healed of past abuse.

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