Oct 25, 2007

Livin' the Dream!

(updated to present tense)
This is the spot to stay posted on the progress of the new house, near the Panama border, Agua Buena, and Canas Gorda, in Costa Rica.

You can click on this view from an adjoining hilltop.It is facing to the north. As you can see, we began with nothing but a flat spot. Our hectare (2.2 acres) extends to the left downhill to a creek that joins others to supply the 60' waterfall. Out of sight beyond the bare spot is a public right of way that goes to the right to the Restaurante Rancho Amigos and the highway, where we catch the bus.

The plans include rainwater collection to avoid flushing our toilets with drinking water, although clean water is plentiful. Greywater is separated from sewage water and is filtered through compost and eventually through the vermiculture system, and on to irrigate some organic cultivation of perhaps some spices, etc. that may have economic benefit to the area.
The concept is that only two things require confinement; those that need privacy and those that need to be secure from living creatures. The rest of the house is a viewing platform with amenities.

Feel free to ask anything that pops into your head. I publish a journal with many photos, more or less every week, and it goes out to about 50 "subscribers", mostly relatives and friends. If you would like to receive these, contact me at costajournal07@yahoo.com.
(Don't use this direct link yet, it doesn't work. Just type it in your e-mail. Sorry!)

I will send the "International GeoGrafix" to you as a BCC(blind copy) to protect your identity. If you find my journals too boring or filled with "too much propaganda", just e-mail me an "unsubscribe".

pura vida


el grillo said...

O.K., here is some background.
I will try to be a well-behaved gringo, so that means that I am "required" to employ an architect/engineer, who submits my blueprints to the Colegio which approves them and then they go to the Municipalidad for permission to build.
As soon as I arrive in San Jose, November 6, I will try to get Cesar Monge Arias (CMA Ingeniero) to process the blueprints to the Colegio. You have now discovered that there is a bureaucracy involved.

As soon as a full day becomes available, with nothing more that I can do to move forward, I will take an early morning Tracopa bus to Coopabuena.
When I get to "La Copa", I will go to the lumberyard and begin arranging for materials. If they have actually followed my e-mail instructions, I will have enough stuff to justify a cargo taxi trip out to Bello Oriente.

At that point, no matter how tired I will have become, it will be a homecoming experience, and eventually I hope I will settle into the "Casita Amarilla" (my little yellow house near the building site) for the night.

All of the events are subject to serendipitous alteration, as my adventure continues to unfold only slightly ahead of my footsteps.

If you know me well enough to be interested in receiving the detailed "International GeoGraphix" journals, contact me by e-mail to be added to the list of "e-subscribers".

pura vida

el grillo said...

General comments moved to the next post, "Costa Rica".

Trivia note:
Spanish has genders, so the island is called Puerto(male)Rico(male), and the country is called Costa(female)Rica(female).

"My friends were amazed when I sat down and played the piano".

el colibri said...

Jiminney: Where are you when we need you? I hope your trip to CR was uneventful. I guess it isn't so difficult leaving the US these days but re-entry can be more complicated and time consuming. Sign back on line when you get squared away ...... it always takes us about a week to settle in. Hummer

el grillo said...

Yesterday, I met Jesus Christ, and He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Actually, He was more subtle than that. He claimed his name was Robert Shed. He appeared to be about 25. He said that two guys had stolen his billfold down by the Coca Cola (bus station in San Jose) with his Connecticut drivers license and all his money ($48). He said he was working at reforestation near Sabalito near the Panamanian border as a volunteer with the Webb Foundation in the “cloud forest” and had only been in Costa Rica for nine days. This was his first foray away from his area. He needed enough money to buy a return ticket (about $9).
His story was inconsistent. He knew there was a dirt road that would get you to Panama in about 45 minutes, but didn’t recognize the name, Rio Sereno, which is the border crossing town, for example. He was walking, as I was, along the southern border of La Sabana Park. While I was returning from an unsuccessful search for my architect’s officina in a residential neighborhood he had drawn me a map to, Bob was looking for La Sabana, which was across the street. He seemed to know that it would take over a month to get a loan from the “American” embassy, but should have been on the other side of the Park if he was going there, and it was nearly 4:30 pm.
I gave Him a 10,000 colone note ($20) and one of my cards with my CR address on it, and wrote three business names that probably would receive the money for me when He repaid the loan. He asked how to get back to the bus stations and when I told him any of the buses that were honking their way through the rush-hour traffic would get him there, He looked down at the huge note and I threw in a 500 colon coin ($1) to make His life less stressful.
He said that He had learned a valuable lesson, “to not trust strangers”, and that piece of comedy will be my repayment if I don’t see the money again. Of course, since I didn’t have any productive thing to do for the rest of the day, I was probably supposed to get on a bus with Him and see that He was safely on His way home from the Tracopa station, or more accurately, I should have taken Him to the inn where I was staying and had an extra bed, and bought Him some dinner down the street at the Soda Tapia, but I’m not totally evolved, yet, and He didn’t seem like somebody that could enhance my life. He may have missed the last bus out of town, and may have been forced to stay in some insecure flea-bag hotel near the bus station, where somebody could steal His money, again, but He caught me thinking about myself. I was fresh off the plane and was still wearing my MSU ballcap, and nobody would mistake me for anybody other than who I am.

el grillo said...

I spent five hours with the architect, explaining the corrections that would have to be made to his flawed plans. Renewing my request for a budget and a material list that was promised and paid for resulted in the same head-nodding and immediate dismissal that seem to be customary for the young and ambitious engineer. They did manage to frisk me of a few more dollars with which to get the flawed plans approved by the "Collegio" so I could apply for a building permit. As you may expect, I fired his sorry butt and proceeded on my own (with generous help from my host and hostess, Jose & Nidia) through two months of painful progress of getting papers in order and finding the excellent crew that became my friends.