The big construction push
Join us for a ride on the Costa Rica life-overhaul roller coaster. I convinced Mercy to climb onboard in November 2015 when we decided to stay in Sámara and make an offer on Villas Boheme Chic. Those decisions were the slow ratcheting up on the first climb on this track. We kept steadily ratcheting upward as we planned, drew and dreamt of what this property could become through December & January.
The roller coaster went into its first deep dive when we authorized the wire and it was lost in the ether for two weeks. We held it together (barely) and came out of the free-fall when the money surfaced and we took possession of the property in February 2016.
Remodeling March through May was noisy but thrilling, just like a roller coaster ride should be. In June we got off the ride, Mercy dropped to the ground and kissed the quiet solid earth. The silence and peace of our site was magical for a hot minute. Then, I convinced her to get back on for the next part of the ride. The new construction phase started in July and we’ve been doing climbs, drops and loop-de-loops ever since. Here’s the view from Villa Rio’s balcony where we live pretty much in a construction site.
Our construction team is led by William Reyes, our maestro de obras. He has a team of 15 - 20 laborers who sleep onsite, a cook who fuels the team with endless gallo pinto, casados, chicharron, coffee and a 3 yard cement mixer that never stops grinding.
The construction schedule is marked by quincenas in Costa Rica, 14 day work cycles where the team works, takes room and board at the project, takes Sunday off and is paid on the second Friday before a weekend at home. Our family and the team all share the same pace and space, trying to stay out of each other’s way but also always available to answer questions quickly.
We all felt a burst of positive momentum when the team finished the pool. The installation of the big rocks without heavy equipment was the most hair-raising day of the construction. I was sure someone was going to crush a foot or an arm, but Wilmer and his team pulled it off and it looks amazing without even cracking a glass tile! Here’s a play by play of the process from construction start in July to the almost final pool: