Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Excavation and Construction - Arlene’s Arrival

I hadn’t foreseen that hurricane Arlene would put a damper in my plans. It has. We are in the rainy season so precipitation is not in question here. Just the randomness of it. No way to forecast what we’ll get for the next hour, or even half-hour…

Despite the weather, excavation took place on Monday. Thanks to my reader Pleinguy’s suggestion to use a different machine for the excavation, I was able to locate a Bobcat service right next door in La Tortuga. The lot is quite narrow as you can see from the plan. No room to move about but the Bobcat was ideal, as it rotates in any chosen direction. Marcelino and Jorge (my mason and his helper) began in earnest and are hoping to finish the “mamposteo”, or foundation base for the walls by the end of next week. Weather permitting, I’ll take photos tomorrow.

It’s so exciting to see a two-dimensional plan take off in three dimensions! The rooms that I had pictured rather small are much bigger than I thought. You can blame the visualization on my ancient mind of imperial measures rather than metric. Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I hope to show you how my lot looks like a World War Two ditch preparation for warfare… If all we get is a slice of sunshine, I’ll get a couple of photos.

Space being at a premium, I have to arrange for the gravel, sand, and stones to be dropped between the lot and the road. Pics to show tomorrow. Fortunately, I have very accommodating neighbours for which I’m so grateful. The dirt taken from the ditches filled 6 (yes… six) truckloads to be moved elsewhere.

My costs so far are:

Moving the dirt – 6 truckloads @ $200 pesos a load = $1200 pesos

Bobcat and operator – 8 hours @ $250 pesos an hour = $2000 pesos.

In dollars, and depending on the exchange rate, this would translate to a bit under $300. dollars! How’s that for a bargain?

My two workers asked for a raise that I was very happy to give. They work 44 hours a week, that is from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM on Monday, then from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM from Tuesday to Friday to make up for the 4 hours that they would be expected to work on Saturday. One hour for lunch. The raise was from $1400 pesos a week for the mason, and $1000 a week for the helper. The total $2400/wk. The raise I offered was to $2600, which they said to be happy with. You do the math. They often work beyond the required hours. I make sure to count those so that I can at least cover them in addition to a bonus.

I dare anyone who states that Mexicans are lazy to try and work for this many hours for this kind of pay! And do it with a smile and singing and joking all day long! It puts me to shame for how much more easily we earn our money up north. And then complain????

How can I not love my new country and its people?


Bob said...

I haven't met that many Mexicans, but I agree they are NOT lazy. Glad to see things are moving along.

Builders In London said...

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Bobby Rai said...

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