Up bright ( well very dark actually) at 3.45 am this morning for the pouring of concrete for the walls of the water tank for our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize. Didn’t need to get up that early obviously but I woke up so…
Had 2 two cups of coffee ( yes I know, probably one too many) on the veranda whilst I read The Times online. Showered and was at Estel’s for breakfast by 6 am when they opened for business ( yes, I did kiss Rose goodbye before I left).
Got there so early I had to wait for the cook to arrive. Didn’t have to wait too long because just before 6.15am I had my order of eggs ( two) sunny-side up, potatoes, bacon ( very crispy) and a wheat tortilla all with the obligatory ( well for me anyway) black coffee.
Was on the final piece of bacon when my ‘phone rang. It was Rose . She had showered, dressed and wanted to join me in going to watch our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize. I paid the bill (BZ$17.50) and went to collect Rose.
We got to the site at 7.20 am, 80 minutes after the guys had started to work and it was obvious straight away that they had been busy and were still very busy filling the forms with concrete when we arrived.
The guys were expertly and vigorously using the long and precarious ramp to the forms.
Nicholas approaching the ramp.
Nicholas at the top of the ramp.
‘Junior’ ( must find out his real name) manoeuvring the wheelbarrow on the downward ramp.
Alfredo reaching the bottom of the downward ramp.
Rudimentary improvisation was in place making use of small boards as ramps to provide access for the wheelbarrows ( and three were in constant use today – skilfully and energetically used by Nicholas, Alfredo and ‘Junior’) to the forms for the pouring.
Improvisation and strength combine to do the job.
The guys on the wheelbarrows , once again, showed high levels of energy to deliver the concrete as quickly as possible.
Wheelbarrows queuing up to be unloaded.
Daniel Camal , our building contractor , and Anhill worked together to make sure that the small ramps were moved and positioned as required and helped to empty the wheelbarrows at the correct place.
Daniel and Anhill at work emptying a wheelbarrow.
Following up behind Daniel and Anhill one of the guys ( my challenge is to get his name tomorrow) was in action with the vibrator.
All of the team worked effectively and moved around the water tank filling the forms with the first stage of concrete.
At 9.09 am they broke for lunch but were back at work by 9.25 am.
While they were on break I took the opportunity of taking a photograph from where the Ground Floor Apartment’s bedroom will be.
The view guests will get from their bedroom ( will remove most , if not all, of the bushes though).
I mentioned the small ramps earlier well below are Daniel beginning the process and then Anhill finishing it.
Daniel positioning the blocks.
Anhill placing the board.
It didn’t all go to plan though. ‘Junior’ , on one of his many trips up the ramp, didn’t approach it correctly and managed to empty the contents of his wheelbarrow causing great laughter among the guys, me included .
‘Junior’ clearing up his mess.
For one of the more difficult sections of the forms to access they had to call on the assistance of the trowel master, me.
The ‘master’ troweling out the remnants of the wheelbarrow.
Me reluctantly handing the trowel back to Daniel.
At 12.10 pm the call was given to stop mixing any more concrete. The pour was reaching its end and 20 minutes later the last wheelbarrow of concrete was poured.
‘Junior’ had the honour of making the final pour.
Oh, meant to mention, when I was troweling out the wheelbarrow I heard the word maestro mentioned. My Spanish is virtually non-existent though so I don’t know if it was said with reverence or in jest.
With the final pour made Rose and I decided to call it a day. This wouldn’t be the case for the guys because they still had the finishing touches to apply and then the site clean-up to take care of .
So, what is it like to build in Ambergris Caye,Belize? Well, so far Rose and I are thoroughly enjoying it.
On the way home for lunch we bumped into someone who said that a guy was over from the mainland selling strawberries and that if we rushed to BC’s we might catch him. So we did and bought a bag ( just over a pound in weight) for BZ$10. Expensive you might think. Not us though. They were delicious.
Just waiting for some pouring by us . With ice cream!