Spent the early part of this morning arranging an exchange of sterling to US dollars to fund the next stages of our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize.
Before commencing the build project Rose and I considered a number of ways in which to fund it. Leave the money in our UK bank account and exchange currency on a stage by stage basis, open a US dollar account with our UK bank and exchange sterling for the total build cost and draw on it on a stage by stage basis,transfer money to our Atlantic International Limited Bank account and draw down on that, and a whole host of other approaches to the funding requirement.
In the end – after much deliberation- we elected to make use of FC Exchange which s a UK based specialist currency broker. The appeal for us being that we exchange reasonably sizeable amounts of sterling at the market rate at the time of exchange ( this way we have certainty of the rate which we much prefer to taking a gamble on whenever a stage payment is due). The rates offered are generally higher than we could get at a bank and there are NO wire transfer fees. It works for us but may not appeal to everyone.
After taking care of the money it was time for Rose and I to review the plans for the Ground and First Floors to see if there are any changes we want to make or questions we would like to ask Daniel Camal,our building contractor,at the meeting we were having with him at 4 pm.
The epitome of concentration. Or was it just a pose?
We spent around an hour reviewing the two floor plans looking at each floor on a room by room basis and took notes as we went long. With the review finished we headed off to see how things were going at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize
We got there around 1.15 pm and saw straight away that progress had been made on the ramp and the new set of stairs from the ground to the Ground Floor that we changed the plans to accommodate.
The pour of concrete for the new staircase begins.
We also saw that they were pouring the columns that will support the ceiling/floor of the Ground Floor/First Floor.
Bucket up on the scaffolding.
A little bit of vibration and ready for the next bucket load.
Next bucket load about to be poured.
While all this was going on work was taking place on constructing the form boards for the next column to be poured.
Many hands make light work!
The form boards installed for the pouring to create the beams had been removed before we arrived.
Beam exposed in the wall separating the kitchen/living room from the bedroom.
The plumber/electrician had also been busy extending the pipes.
Haven’t a clue what they are for. Looks like an octopus to me.
While Rose and I were wandering around ( keeping out of the way of the guys of course) the pour for the new stairs continued.
And another wheelbarrow load.
The stairs very quickly started to take shape.
Starting to fill up.
With wheelbarrow loads of concrete arriving within minutes of each other it wasn’t long before the pour was finished.
The finished article is exactly as we hoped it would look.
With the pour of the stairs completed Daniel set about making sure that the pour for the columns had been carried out correctly.
Daniel precariously balanced to carry out his inspection.
In the meantime the guys had finished work on the forms for the next column.
Up she goes.
Oh, forgot to mention that they had also laid four courses of ‘blocks above the beam for the external wall of the store room.
It’s now starting to look very tall and there are still two more courses and the ceiling/floor to be laid. If you look closely you can just see Rose’s head peaking through the kitchen window.
Very satisfied with progress we left our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to prepare for our meeting with Daniel, which, by the way, was very successful. He has now asked us to focus on the lighting for the First Floor to determine exactly what we want.
The headline is based on the 1985 single , from the ‘Brothers in Arms’ album, by Dire Straits. The song hit number in the US and number four in the UK.