January 2017 – This week everything started to feel real. We completed the tracing of the house by using limestone to mark the perimeters and rooms, as well as using posts and string to check the level of the various sections of the house. This also gave us an opportunity to make a few last minute adjustments before we start digging for the foundation next week. We also created an access road (where a future public walkway will go) so that we can bring materials directly to where we will be using them.
We met with the municipal government and discussed permitting and the digging of a well, too. The remarkable news is that the representatives are excited about our project and let us know that they would like to see more projects like ours in the area. It was a tremendous relief to see that we have the support of the community behind us as we start this endeavor. Our neighbors have also been instrumental in sharing knowledge and helping connect us with various individuals and contacts.
Lastly, we started building a small shed and shade structure to store our material in, and offer refuge from the sun during meals and break times.
As far as life in general goes, we’re all adjusting and getting used to the heat, humidity, insects, and different style of life here. Going for a daily swim in the ocean melts away all of the stress and frustrations that might emerge with manual labor in a hot climate, and we still haven’t shaken the feeling that despite all of the work, we’re somehow always on vacation. More to come next week.