Good morning everyone, hope you are doing well! This last week was busy busy and we started a lot of projects. First, the work has begun on the safe room. It will be just a room with a bathroom, partially built underground to keep cool, with a garden terrace on the roof. It should be free from bugs and scorpions, and let us sleep safe and sound at night.
Excavating the land for a new room.
At the moment every time I wake up at night, I need to watch my steps for any crawling animal. I have had no bad surprises so far but you never know.
A contractor came by to give us a quite expensive quote to excavate and level the land, and we offered the handyman to do it for a little more money than usual. We bought him a motorbike that he is paying back with his work, so by earning more he should pay it quickly, win-win. He has since then brought over his dad and three little brothers to help around and go even faster, and says since everyone is going to use the bike, it is their way of helping him pay for it.
Everyone is lending a hand (you can see the old pit toilet behind the boy)
His brothers are really small but they are happy to help and on holiday from school anyway. They are never forced to work by their dad, and do small tasks that are age appropriate. BF calls them the anthill. The also spend a lot of time sliding on the mountain of sand that has been excavated and laughing. Their mum comes at lunch time with two more sisters, and the whole family has a picnic and a swim on our beach. I like those tight family bonds and that everyone is lending a hand when in need.
With all the soil that was excavated, I used the brown, upper soil to start an herb garden and will start a bigger garden this week. The lower soil is a sandy, white kind, that we will use on the beach to make a pétanque (the national French game of bowls) field, and a white sand beach. I find it pretty sweet that everything here is finding a way to have a new life, being reused and re-purposed.
The big problem is there are four nice huge trees, two palms and two typical ones that we are trying to move, or incorporate in the build and that sounds complicated. Having the tree inside the room is super cool, but we would have to say goodbye to our bug-free dream.
Now that there is water, light and electricity, we have started smaller projects. We installed lights in the garden and next to the car to unload it at night, some neon under the deck for a night swim, and took off some more leaves of the house roof to avoid all the dirt falling on our heads.
The plug for a night swim
The hen cage was pimped with cute little nests made of construction blocks and we left an egg there hoping they would put some more.
Added nests to the cage
A posing rooster
On the hen side, I am now an octomom to 7 hens and 1 rooster. Poor little Snack, the 8th and weakest hen, was attacked last week and we spent a whole day making the hen cage more secure. The other hens came from the ranch and are really big and beautiful. The ones from the nearby village are of lesser quality.
After a week of living on the beach, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner the first three hens have only given one egg. It can be because of the stress to be on a new property, or because they are nesting outside of the cage, as they spend the whole day outside. It is impressive how they go back to the cage at night, when the sun goes down, without the need to call them or chase them around. They climb up to the thatched roof of the cage and sleep there.
Another work starting this week is turning the one big room into two small guest rooms inside the house. As we may have visitors for Christmas (and the End of the World, some friends are super psyched about spending the 21st of December here), it will be nice to have some privacy. The bathroom will remain common to all rooms.
And… the disgusting animal of the week award goes to…..