Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week 25

When I finally downloaded photos today I realized all my photos from two weeks ago were of houses and lots for sale. SERIOUSLY. Every.Single.One. I thought about making a collage out of "Vende" signs but decided that was more work than I wanted to get into. So no photos for week #24.

But I do have some from this week, starting with this photo of downtown after Argentina's win against Nigeria in the World Cup last Saturday. No, this was not an organized parade or anything -- just people everywhere waving their flags!
We got together to watch the game but I kept running home to switch loads of laundry and the streets were EERILY silent from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. while the game was on. Normally the costanera is a busy, busy place on the weekends but in my forays back and forth to the house I only saw a total of five people (and they were all women! LOL). That changed as soon as the game was over -- people poured into the streets to celebrate the win!

We arrived in Sta. Rosa Monday evening, ready to tackle a few big projects. I'm sure I've shared photos of the house, but here's a close-up of the front. Doesn't it look sort of like an English country cottage?
Tuesday brought the realization that our expectations might have been a tad too high on what we hoped to accomplish in the few days we’re here. New goals were set: I was only going to paint the upper kitchen cabinets and Ivan planned to install the new water tank and chop what wood he could. But before we got started, we took a walk down to the river. Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the eucalyptus.
This eucalyptus tree is about 60 feet high, and that nest you see is about 40 feet up. Those pesky wild parrots are EVERYWHERE and build humongous nests.

One of the highlights of this trip was that the house was clean when we arrived! After I whined incessantly for months suggested we find someone to help clean occasionally, Ivan found a dependable woman who came and cleaned last week. She even did the windows in the main living area! Cannot believe the difference clean windows make :D 

In the past I’ve always spent the first day or two cleaning house before being able to start on any other projects. And most of the time we only get to come out for a day or two. Which may explain why I haven’t really done any other projects until now. Plus, you know with the recent 5-day retreat for 21 that we held here last month, the house was in serious need of cleaning!

Anyway, with the house all nice and clean, I was able to start painting first thing Tuesday morning (and relax on Monday evening!). That was SOOOOOOOOO nice!

Tuesday night we received a call from an older couple who had decided to come out and visit us on Wednesday. They brought a yummy apple cake for merienda, and Ivan picked Julio's brain about the water tank project. Julio has built a lot of things in his 76 years, including a few houses, so he was able to give Ivan some suggestions.
The inside of the cabinets were raw wood, old and very, VERY dry. They sucked paint like a hungry infant does milk.
It has taken four coats and probably could have used another one or two but I’m calling it good. The cabinet doors ended up with three coats on the inside (again, raw wood) and two on the exterior. I’ve spray painted the hinges black.

It took Ivan WAY longer to install the water tank than he anticipated -- three LONG days. Had some problems with leaking where the old and new pipes joined which precipitated breaking into the cement to dig out more of the old pipe. Not fun! He finished just before dark on Friday.
We're putting the cabinets back together this weekend and cleaning up the week-long mess we made (three days without water meant I only did the basics since we were using water we'd saved in the bathtubs and buckets). Our co-workers suggested we stay through Monday to finish up the work and since Monday happens to be a holiday here, they're going to come out with a crew of the teen boys to help Ivan chop and stack all the wood from the two trees. Isn't that nice!? 

Typical that any kind of home improvement project will TAKE LONGER AND COST MORE than anticipated. But at least the end (of this week's projects) is in sight.

[For those who don't know, the house in Sta. Rosa belongs to Ivan's family. His parents built the house over 40 years ago. It's been a great place to not only get away ourselves, but to use for ministry as well. What a blessing it has been!]

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