Good morning, all! I wish you all a happy Friday and a speedy recovery from yesterday’s food coma. I know I haven’t written for quite some time, but it wasn’t due to a lack of activity. I had promised myself that I would post following the conclusion of every project I undertake at the farm. This seemed reasonable enough at first, but I have since realized that project “conclusions” are few and far between. You are exponentially more likely to reach a “stopping point”. It might be a week or a year, but chances are that in the future you’ll be revisiting that project to improve upon or refurbish your previous work. I suppose this lesson is not unique to cabin renovations. There’s a reason that tidy, organized endings are left to fairy tails and rom-coms…they’re merely fantasy. When a person, place, thing, or idea enters our lives, it tends to embed itself there. Even though it may be invisible or absent for long periods of time, it’s by no means “gone”. I suppose that’s far enough for today’s dive into the human condition, so let’s talk about what we’ve been up to here in Central America.
Most of the recent developments are relate to the cabin’s electricity and security. We employed the help of local electricians Luis and Freddy in installing the load center, light fixtures, outlets, and switches. Since I had the aid of professionals, four circuits ended up being installed as opposed to the two I had originally planned. One covers the back half of the cabin & bathroom, another covers the kitchen plus what will eventually be the sitting room, a third services the loft, while the fourth is connected to an outlet for a range plug in case we decide to acquire a full electric stove. While Luis, Freddy, and I worked on the wiring (yes, I installed outlets and switches), Julia and her mother went to the electric company, ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, pronounced “ee-seh”) to request activation of the meter. The ICE truck arrived toward the end of Luis & Freddys’ final day of work which would have been perfect had we not been missing a main cutoff switch to install next to the meter. Although I left immediately to retrieve one, and although Luis needed all of ten minutes to install it, the ICE guys were “unable” to wait and told us they’d return “some other week”. I guess it’s nice to know that you can change countries, climates, and time zones but the electric company remains more or less the same…yeah I’m talking about you, PG&E. While having to wait on having electric was certainly an inconvenience, the larger issue was that Luis and Freddy were unable to test their work before leaving. This proved to be problematic when ICE finally returned and an entire circuit was nonfunctional. Fortunately, the father and son duo that came out to install security cameras made quick work of the issue which turned out to be nothing more than a few bad wire connections.
That leads me to the security update. We now have three dual-bulb motion sensing security lights on the outside wall of the cabin as well as four security cameras which currently feed to a recording device inside the cabin. There’s a possibility that we could convert them to a wireless system which would feed to a smartphone, but that requires internet which is, unsurprisingly, proving to be a difficult acquisition.
In other cabin news, we are now the proud owners of a new door, toilet, bathroom sink, wash basin (outdoor), and water tank (1,100 L). All of these have yet to be installed, but are being transported by truck to the property tomorrow morning as they all are too large for Julia’s family’s car. You may also notice that most of that list requires or is directly related to running water. That’s my project for the next couple weeks. The plumbing inside the cabin seems to be in fine condition and a pipe currently runs from the spring on the property to right outside the cabin. What I need to do is pick an optimal location for the water tank and connect the tank to the spring and the cabin. This is easier said than done, though, as much of the water pipe is buried and I’m not entirely sure where. Luckily, the man who has been taking care of the farm is available to come show me the route of the water line and help pick a spot for the tank. In terms of the cabin interior, we have started the arduous process of filling the many, minuscule cracks between wall slats with a mixture of wood sealant, sawdust, and paint thinner. It’s quite remarkable, actually, how much more “inside” you feel with the cracks filled.
So that’s what’s up. I’ll keep you updated on further developments. I know I promised a post regarding the bamboo fence we built at Julia’s house and I do intent to deliver. I’m thinking, however, that since I’ve recently built a few garden/growing oriented objects I may just combine them all into one post. We’ll see.
As always, please leave any thoughts, questions, or advice in the comments section or in the contact form.