Friday, June 4, 2010

Building the Dream - Continued

The foundation is almost completely dug, and the columns are being set, even as I type.  At least, the rebar skeleton of the columns are being set.  These columns go in a hole four feet deeper than the foundation.  They are about 18 ft long, and the rebar does not come pre-fab. They are held in place by a couple of feet of concrete, then large rocks are put around them and pushed down into the wet concrete and  and more concrete poured up to the level of the foundation.  The rocks cannot touch each other, the rebar, or the sides of the hole.  After they are all set the gang will build a wooden frame around each one and fill it with concrete.  After the concrete sets, the form is removed and the columns are kept damp for  few days.

These are our cement mixers.  We have used several hundred bags of cement by now, and it has all been mixed by hand, fifty shovels of aggregate to a bag of cement.  The cement and aggregate are mixed together until fully mixed and then water, by the bucket, is poured in and the cement mixed until it is a slurry.  The blue barrel holds the water.

This is our "cement truck" ;-D  That's Marvin filling the hole around the base of the rebar. The rocks in the trench will become part of the foundation.  We will use a total of about 1,200 bags of cement, .  The columns being set now will go up through the floor of the second level and the 2 ft of rebar that are not in the concrete will become part of the column that goes up to the roof.  The extra rebar on the second level will be twisted around the base of the trusses and tie the roof to the house.  This house is hurricane proof, mud slide proof, and earthquake proof, or so I am told.

Here are some of our gang.  Honduran men love to smile for the camera, and they will always fix their hair and clothing before they will let you take the photograph.


Who is that handsome man with the chain saw?  Why, it is Macho Man!!!  Macho Man forgets that he is not as young as our other workers, and he comes home wringing wet and so tired he just wants to lie on the floor.  I told him that he should remember he is the Jefe and he needs to sit under the mango tree and direct what is going on.  He disagrees.  He says he has to set an example, and also make sure everyone is working where, when and how he wants them to.

Under the mango tree - break time.                         
We freeze water in the big soda bottles to provide cool water for most of the day. That is Marvelous Marvin with Macho Man

The office of Ramirez and Company - inside the little house Macho Man built about 40 years ago.
We have been truly blessed. We have a good, hard working crew. It has not rained. The materials have arrived on time. Macho Man sprayed the property so the chiggers and ticks are mostly gone.