Friday, January 9, 2009

A Little Home Construction

Bricks in the Wall
Blocks for the security wall

The whole property used to belong to Roberto's grandparents, but over the years, it has been carved up as each child has built their own home.

Carmen, Roberto's mother, is developing her part of the property a bit more and putting up a 3 meter concrete block wall. It will have barbed wire and broken glass at the top with a sturdy metal door for access.

It will also have a security system named Amelia (she is a good alarm, but not much else) and (Roberto's dog) Chitrin (an alarm and the armed security guard).

Hopefully that will keep out whoever broke the lock on the back door a few nights ago trying to steal the rebar for the wall. Chitrin got a little bloodied in the process, but valiantly defended the homestead.

Septic Hole at the Gata's
Future septic system of the neighbor (the hole has been there about a month so far)

One reason for the extra security is that the neighbor has a tendency to buy stolen property, so there are people coming and going into the night offering anything from electronics to construction signage. The floor of her house is made from concrete blocks that were used to pave the road out front a couple months ago.

There is also a number of drug houses in the neighborhood. They don't all sell, some of them are just runners on the long trip Columbian cocaine takes to get to the U.S.

Fortunately they all know Roberto and his mother and so they're safe (and me by association). But the addicts wandering through are a different story. The culture of it is a little different when drug houses are established families and not displaced addicts.

In the meantime, our contractor, Jose, comes most morning to work. Often, but not always, with a helper (even though unemployment rates are high, it can be tough to find someone willing to actually show up).

At the halfway point, Jose was paid the agreed upon $200 for about 7 days of work for him and his helper. He kindly signed the receipt of payment slip even though he doesn't read.

No permits or contracts were signed or even considered. In a world were no one can afford to take anyone else to court, it isn't paper that protects you.

Backyard Construction
Rebar overlooking the concrete blocks and trash burn pile

No comments: