Happy Monday! Time for some sunny news from beautiful Guatemala. This is the recap that was to go live when the storm hit, and now almost everything is back in order. I am in the plane to France as you read this, enjoy!
After a busy Easter, life went back to normal and we are slowly finishing little details around the house. We only kept two employees, our devoted handyman and a carpenter for woodwork. The deck was polished (nice way to describe hours and hours of electric polishing noise and clouds of dust) then painted with a waterproof coat, and leveled since one of the pillars was rotting in the water.
Now that the half dozen workers are gone we can plant things in the garden without fearing they will step on it and prevent its growth. We brought a few palm trees from the big land, and also put some plants on the walls of the bedroom, between the stone, hoping they root. It has been very hot lately so that is not a given, unfortunately, and even less after the storm.
The garden patch was fenced to prevent the hens from going there for siesta. The earth is cooler since we water more and they love to dig a round hole and bury themselves on a hot day, which has been every day for the past two weeks.
The hens are doing well, although we have had some scares. Once a hen becomes a mum, she starts fighting with the other hens, and even the chicks that aren’t hers. There is a saying here that goes “se cree la mama de los pollitos”, “she thinks she is the mother of the chicks”, to say someone is full of himself and thinks he is entitled to anything and above the common law. One of the mothers killed a small chick who got too close to her and wasn’t hers. Another one terrorized the first 5 chicks so much they don’t want to sleep in the cage anymore, and every night we had to run after them to get them in, then gave up and let them sleep outside.
We thought the lack of nests was the problem, so we upgraded the cage with 12 nests instead of 4. Some still lay outside, which they did before when the nests were occupied, and it is hard to make them change their habits, other seem happy. Two are hatching at the moment, expecting chicks for next week and the week after that. A recent one was a disaster, we already lost 2 of 5 chicks, but the last one seems pretty good, we got 11 chicks, a whole football team in one go!
Most progress now has been made on the 90 acres land development. Our neighbor conveniently had a caterpillar standing there, and offered it to us for $80/hour, with a skilled driver and gas, to trace our roads. The price is the usual but we would have had to pay for the machine to get to us on a truck and we were able to save a bit on that. When you are used to $200/month workers and suddenly you have someone charging the price of a consultant, you stay on top of the work.
So most days we go to the land 3-4 times to make sure the guy is working his billable hours and is tracing the road well. We are very lucky because he knows what he does, so much so he is very stubborn and you can’t tell him to do things another way, but in the end we are very happy with the results. He just messed up on one road while we were away for a couple of hours, but that is nothing compared to the work he has done in one short week.
The architect will come next week to GPS the plots and the next step is to take them to the land registry and split the big land into 200 or so plots.
While we were busy doing all that, our neighbor cleaned his land and exposed a huge Mayan ruin about 100 yards from our land limit. That is the triangle shaped hill you see in the background.
We think there was quite an important Mayan settlement because in our land we found lots of clay artifacts, unfortunately broken by the caterpillar as it went. It would take years to carefully excavate with no proof that we would find something significant, but it is a pity to find those broken things. Many were already broken and you can see the cuts are old, but some of it was broken by the caterpillar. Which is strange since there has been cattle on that land for years and nothing happened.
The whole village is enjoying the last few weeks of land usage, since our land is at the village’s limit, everyone has been coming there for years to take wood for their fires, leave their horses or cows for free… It has been very convenient that they gathered all the dead wood and took it home, we were about to pay someone to clean the land!
Lots of curious people have inquired, some even inaugurated our road with their car, we will have to close the car access during the rainy season or they could damage the road if we haven’t paved it yet.
The idea is to have all the plots traced by the end of the week, so I can go to Europe and relax while the registry works on the property titles. I haven’t booked my ticket yet, can’t believe I may be flying this weekend!
How did your week go? Anything exciting to share?
this post was features on Money Bulldog, thanks!
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