Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Foot Prints in the Concrete

I just went up stairs to finish the concrete a little more and I realized that two little kids had barged through my tape barrier and moved the suitcase I put in front of the doorway so that they could walk on my fresh concrete. I thought it was quite funny. The concrete was dry enough that they didn't do any damage, but they definitely left there mark. With five little kids around I guess someone was bound to do it.

Back At It Aagin

Yesterday I started back on the bathroom project. Things are coming along faster then the first bathroom, for which we are very thankful. I still haven't put any screws through any water lines yet in this bathroom, so that is saving a lot of time.

Yesterday I put in an electrical outlet and then put about thirty of the original tiles back on. I had about twenty of them that just fell of the wall when I was chiseling because they were not originally stuck on very well. I also parged around all the new water pipes I put in.

Last night I went down and spent sometime with James at the burger stand. I had to go and have a burger with him. I had already had supper but it was about 10pm, so I figured it was just a evening snack.

Today I put about half of the tiles on the wall, while everyone else except for James went to the beach for a few hours. They all came back looking like tomatoes. Then late this afternoon we mixed up concrete and pour the bathroom floor. We want to pour the shower floor separate because it is lower and it all has to be sloped towards the drain. Hopefully we can pour the rest of the floor tomorrow and get most of the tiles on the wall.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Aquarium/ Parasailing

Thursday morning we all went to an Aquarium in Mazatlan and spent a few hours looking at the cool animals and seeing several shows from the birds, the seals and a diver. We had a good time and fun was had by all, until we got out to the parking lot and found the battery was dead on the suburban because the lights were left on. After fifteen or twenty minutes we were able to find some booster cables and be on our way.

Here are a few animals we saw.

Sealed with a kiss

I tried every evening to get a good sunset picture, but there were always clouds on the horizon, so this was the best I could do.

There we several souvenir shops along the street by our hotel and Thursday evening a few of us went out to take a look. We didn't realize that most of them close at 9pm and that is about the time we headed out so we didn't get to see much. There we a couple still open and it was at one of the shop that I found this hat. I was told that I should buy it but I just could think of any practical use for it.

Friday morning we rented a couple of jet skies and enjoyed an hour of fun with them. It was my first time riding one but hopefully not the last. Friday was probably one of the warmest days we had so after jet skiing we spent some time swimming in the pool. That afternoon I decided to go parasailing. This is something I have wanted to do for quite some time.

Self portraits are bad enough, but at high altitudes they're even worse.
A view of the coast from the air.

Our hotel.

After parasailing we rented a catamaran and went out and sailed for two hours. The wind wasn't the best and it was a little chilly but it was still a lot of fun.

Since the shops were closed Thursday evening when we went out we went again Friday evening, but a little sooner. We all went this time , all twelve of us.

Getting to sit with Senor Frog.

This is an Iguana we sited Saturday afternoon shortly before we returned to Santiago.

We are all safely back in Santiago arrived back about 5pm. Just finished supper and we are going to play Rummicue, so I have to post this and run.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Visit to Mazatlan

We arrived here in Mazatlan Monday evening at about 8pm. We had hopped to get three rooms together but all three of our rooms are on separate floors. It is a nice hotel here. James and Nelly have stayed here before and James know when they have discounted rooms.

My Room

A few shots from my balconiesLooking down from the 12th floor

Tuesday we went for a walk down the beach most of us has sweaters on, I didn't take one but I sure could have used one, because it was kind of cool. We were constantly approached by people wanting to sell us sunglasses and by the time we left the beach four us had bought some, they are great sales men. They have a nice pool here which we have been in a few times it is heated some so it is quite comfortable. Monday we went in the ocean for a bit but it was to cold to enjoy for long.
A chilly stroll on the beach

Wednesday we went to one of the markets here and strolled around for a while. Going places with six kids makes it quite interesting at times. A few of us have kids on our shoulders as we try to keep the others within site. It is a lot of fun most of the time.

James and Nelly trying some hats on.

Wednesday afternoon we spent a few hours in the pool and hot tub. We were giving swimming lessons to Levi, Simon and Andrew. For living so close to the ocean they spend very little time in the water, so they are still not quite to sure of it at times.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

And the Work Goes On

Here is the almost finished product. We are still trying to get a curtain rode. Corner tubs aren't usually used for showers so we are having to get a curtain rode custom made. A friend of James' is going to make a vanity as well. It is nice though, to be able to see some progress now.

I spent all of Saturday putting the new plumbing in the other bathroom. James helped me later on in the evening to finish it. We are now ready to pour the floor, we might get part of it done tomorrow before we leave for Mazatlan. We are hoping to go up there and spend a few days away from the daily routine here in Santiago.

I would appreciate your prayers for an upcoming trip. Lord willing a few day after returning from Mexico I will be leaving for Mozambique, probably around March 6th. Prayer for making travel arrangements and just the planning that a trip like this takes. There will be a group of about four men going. I am supposed to be making the travel arrangements, but I am having some problems getting the info I need.

Friday, January 18, 2008

One Down, One To Go

After two and a half months and an assortment of problems, we now have a pretty well finished bathroom. The floor is grouted and the toilet is in and the sink is in temporarily while we are waiting on a vanity to be made. I will try to post a picture or video clip of the finish product here soon.

Yesterday James started feeling under the weather and is still not feeling top notch. It might be because of the weather. It has been getting down to 11 C at night and several of us are battling colds, soar throats and stuffy noses.

Today I started pulling the second bathroom apart. Robert help me a lot for which I am very thankful. We broke the concrete floor out, took off six rows of tile and removed all the old drain pipes. We are planning to replace every bit of copper pipe we can get our hands on so that we don't have to pull the floor up three times, hopefully.

Before the demolition

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Learning Patience

Monday I was able to get all the rest of the tile on the walls. Before starting to grout I cleaned the bathroom out and turned the water on to clean the tub and guess what, I had screwed right through another water line and water started spraying from behind the tile. I had to pull off a few tiles and replace a piece of the copper line. What fun.

For lunch Pavi(One of the men that works for James at the burger stand) brought over some seafood soup for us to try. He only brought it for us guys because he figured the ladies wouldn't want any and he was right, we tried to share.

Here are a few things that we in it. Shrimp, octopus tentacles and some
other mussel like thing as well as many vegetables. I loved it it was so good.

Late in the afternoon I was finally ready to start grouting the tile on the wall. I realized we didn't have any grout so I called James and asked him if he could buy some grout while he was out. He went and got five bags which were all supposed to be white grout. I mixed up one bag and it was a little off white but we thought that it would maybe whiten as it dried. I almost had the wall all grouted with only six feet to go when I ran out of grout from the first bag I had mixed. I took another bag and mixed a little more but that stuff was pure white quite different then the other I had just put in. We started to look at lot numbers on the bags and found we had at least two different lots. We found one bag that we thought would be the same as I had already put in and mixed it up, but that stuff was very brown way to dark. Finally our only option was to scrap out all the grout I had put in and redo it with all white grout.

James and I just had to laugh as we were scraping all the old grout out. We were thinking that we had just about had everything go wrong that could, but no not yet. God is really teaching us to persevere through these difficult situations. Finally buy 10:30pm I had all the grout in the second time.

Putting the grout in the first time.

The almost finished product. Just have to grout the floor and install a toilet and sink.

Saturday morning James and I took Trevor, Alysia and their kids to Puerto Vallart to catch their flight at 8am. That meant we had to leave her before 3am. James and Trevor didn't get to bed till about 1am. Needless to say they were very tired and I had to do some of the driving.

We had about 6 hours to wait in PV because one of James other brothers, Robert, his wife Rhoda(who is Nelly's sister)and their three kids were flying in at 2pm. We went down town and had breakfast at McDonalds. We strolled around so in the market and I bought a few blankets and things that some friends and family had asked me to get, then we went to Home Depot and got some more supplies for the bathrooms.

By that time Robert and Rhoda had come in. We went to McDonalds and had some Ice Cream and once we left we all started to realize just how hungry we were so we went to the Outback Steak House and had Lunch.

We arrived back here at J&N by about 9pm. Corinne had made fresh lemon pie and apple pie. They invited the neighbours over and we all enjoy some nice home made pie. Now that we have finished eating I have found a few minutes to post this and it is a little after a 11pm and James and I are heading off to the Burger stand.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

We Finally Have a Tub.

We ran into a few small problems installing the tub and spent all day working on it, but by 4:15pm we had it in, the water lines all hooked up and it was full of water.

On Fridays they have a children's meeting at 4:30pm and then a Bible study at 6:30. After the meetings we came back to the house for supper. It was Tenley's Birthday(She is Trevor's daughter) she turned 5. They had a pinata for her and the little kids, including me, all had a blast hitting it but they weren't doing much damage so I finally had to give it a couple hits so they could get the candy out. Here are some of the kids that are around here. Simon, Tenley, pinata Kitty, Levi, Andrew, Alysia(Trevor's wife) and Logan. Trevor and Alysia's youngest son Jace who is 4 months old is the only one that is missing. We have a ratio of one child to one adult here.

Tenley attacking the poor kitty.

The decapitated pinata

Tenley seeing what it is like to be a pinata.

Later on after supper at about 10 I thought I would go for a swim in the tub. Well I didn't get to swim but I thought while I was in there I would do some work, so I did some parging around the tub so it will be ready for tiles on Monday, because I knew we would be gone all day Saturday.

Saturday we left for Tepic at 8:30am and met Don and Berna(friends of J&N) for breakfast. Had a great time with them, then we went down to the market by the city square. Didn't have much time before we had to leave because we were expected at the Camacho's for lunch. They are some Christians that go to the same church as J&N. We had an awesome lunch with them and left around 5. We went back to the market because Trevor and Alysia had a few more things they wanted to get before they leave on Tuesday to go back to Canada. We had a good time strolling around the market for a few hours.

Before leaving Tepic we had to go to the world's best Taco stand and eat a few. I had eaten so much at lunch I thought I only had room for one taco but they are so good I had a couple more. We got back here to Santiago at 10 and I think we have all had a long day and a ready for some horizontal meditation(sleep).

Accept for Trevor and Corinne(James sister she came down at the beginning of December to help Nelly out with the kids especially once the new baby comes) they seem to be quite interested in watching Bambi #2, Trevor is 30 and Corinne is 19 but they still seem to find it quite captivating by it. I also just took James down to the burger stand he will be help finish up and bring the stand back around 12:30am. Makes for some short nights for him at times.

Well this is the end of my first work week here. It really feels like we are making good progress now.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Taranchula Siteing

I only worked half the day. I relayed all the tiles back along the side of the room where we poured the concrete yesterday. I had to let the tiles set up before we can start getting the tub into place. Since I couldn't do any more work in the bathroom I tried to fix a clogged drain in the kitchen and fix a leaking tap but didn't get to far yet.

I ate the best Lobster today that I have ever had. It was actually the only Lobster I have ever had, but it was very good. I am sure it will not be the last. After lunch Trevor, Alysia, there three kids and I went down to a river to go swimming. Once we got there we realized that it wasn't very hot and the water wasn't very warm but it was fresh water, that salt water is for the birds. (I am not even sure they like it.) There we some rocks to jump off so we jumped a couple times then got out covered with goose bumps.

Here are a few pictures from the river and area.

Trevor and I

On our way back from the river we spotted this Taranchula walking across the road.

Some Good Progress

Yesterday I had to start off with fixing some water lines that James and Trevor had dug up in the bathroom floor that had started leaking about three weeks after I left. We are still not sure why the pipes are corroding. I had to cut out a good portion of the drain pipe to get to the copper lines that needed to be replace. I had to go to the hardware store and by several different pipe fittings and some different kinds of pipe and James wasn't there to help me because he and Trevor were in Tepic all day. With a lot of hand gestures and drawing some pictures I was able to get everything I needed.

The reinstalled pipes

Last night Trevor and I went down to the burger stand that James has and got a couple burgers and then we helped for the last hour with making orders and clearing tables. We had let James stay home and go to bed because he wasn't feeling well. Then at about midnight we brought the burger stand back to his place. I was too tired to post then when we got back.

This is James Burger stand if you hadn't seen a picture of it before.

Today, Trevor was working with me and we mixed concrete and got the floor repoured and we put in some of the remaining cut pieces of tile along the bottom of the wall.

The repaired floor

Tile setting

An iguana I found hanging on the wall when I was moving somethings.

I am loving the food here we had an awesome shrimp lunch today and I think we are supposed to be having crab or Lobster tomorrow, neither of which I have had. Maybe I will have to try some iguana sometime.