Posted by: pennyinparadise | May 5, 2014

Settling In

It’s been a busy couple of months getting the house finished and the move from Florida and my condo completed.   I am happy to say that the house is finished (except for a bit of electrical) and we are ready to welcome visitors to our new home.   We are LOVING it!

The only big problem was a terrace that we added that connects to our bedroom sitting room and the living room.   Huge footers were  dug deep into the ground and lots of cement and steel put in to support it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

More cement and gravel for the terrace

Footers were dug deep to support the terrace

Footers were dug deep to support the terrace

Support walls below terrace

Support walls below terrace

Our amazement at how low-tech the Panamanian way of building is…..the 700 pound steel beams were managed by manpower and simple pulleys.

700 pound beams and support steel hoisted by one guy and his pulley

700 pound beams and support steel hoisted by one guy and his pulley

And how did they bring hundreds of pounds of cement to a second story terrace WITHOUT going through our living room?   Just put together a collection of concrete blocks, wood planks, an old railing and some scaffolding.

This ran from the driveway along the side of the house to the terrace in back

This ran from the driveway along the side of the house to the terrace in back

And a look at it from afar….

An amazing array of whatever was laying around to create a ramp over which many, many wheelbarrows of cement were brought in

An amazing array of whatever was laying around to create a ramp over which many, many wheelbarrows of cement were brought in

Here’s another precarious set of scaffolding was created to paint up high…

The theme here is "whatever works".  No, there is no OSHA here in Panama

The theme here is “whatever works”. No, there is no OSHA here in Panama

So….after lots of steel and sheets of zinc, the floor was poured

Hundreds of pounds of cement over sheets of zinc over a lot of steel

Hundreds of pounds of cement over sheets of zinc over a lot of steel

Once the cement was dry and the roof went on, it was discovered that the slope was toward the house, not away from it.   So…..the first solution was to tear out the cement that was just put in…

2 guys worked 8 hours a day for 3 days to chip out the cement that had just been poured

2 guys worked 8 hours a day for 3 days to chip out the cement that had just been poured

Concrete dust, noise and lots of crossed fingers that this would work.  But it didn't.

Concrete dust, noise and lots of crossed fingers that this would work. But it didn’t.

The final solution was to build up the floor at the point it joined the house and slope it down.   We now have a little curb to step up when going onto the terrace, but even with this drawback, we’re loving it!

Small curb raised floor for proper slope

Small curb raised floor for proper slope

The perfect place to enjoy breakfast overlooking our fantastic view of the volcano and valley

The perfect place to enjoy breakfast overlooking our fantastic view of the volcano and valley

 

Panama life continues to be interesting, especially since we have the election for a new government (president, mayor, congress, etc. happens every 5 years and the entire government changes).   Here’s one way a candidate gets his message out!

Speakers broadcast the candidate's message while young man pedals along

Speakers broadcast the candidate’s message while young man pedals along

The election was held yesterday, and today it was announced that Juan Carlos Varela has won.  This was a big SURPRISE!   Ricardo Martinelli could not run again but his candidate of choice had announced that Mrs. Martinelli would be his Vice President.   Martinelli won in 2009 which was also a surprise.   The party called PRD had ruled Panama for decades and Martinelli was a real change in the politics of Panama.   He has done much to build things in the country, but had plunged the country into debt doing so.    Varela owns Abielo Rum, which is the most popular liquor here.   He is a business man too, and a change from the politics of old.   It will be an interesting 5 years to come.

Varela with his family

Varela with his family

Panama's new President... Juan Carlos Varela

Panama’s new President… Juan Carlos Varela

On to more personal matters….the road to our house is curvy and full of surprises….I came around a curve and here was a guy walking his pig up the road!

pig on the road

A friend and neighbour, Lee Zeltzer, who publishes http://www.boqueteguide.com gave us permission to show what he encountered coming around a curve on our road.

Cow lazing on the warm pavement while her friends look on.

Cow lazing on the warm pavement while her friends look on.

Jim is busy working on his golf green…he’ll have a few tee boxes that he can chip balls from.  We’re calling it La Rosa Country Club.

Jimmy raking weeds and stones to prepare his golf green

Jimmy raking weeds and stones to prepare his golf green

But he’s also taken up Cuban cooking and I’m loving having a man in the kitchen!!

Jimmy cooking Cuban style!

Jimmy cooking Cuban style!

Soon I’ll be posting some videos, but right now I am in bed (well, supposed to be but bored to death just laying around) recovering from surgery I had a week ago.   Can’t drive for a month.   We had to cancel our trip back to the US to pick up my mom, until I fully recover.  All is well….but not yet able to walk around too much and shoot videos.   For now, we’re just happy to have the house finished and be able to enjoy what we’ve created.

Happy and Smiling!!

Happy and Smiling!!

 

 

 


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