We have been working as much as we can at the land. It seems everything is harder and takes longer in Peru. We are doing everything ourselves, so far, but it is hard work and long days. Chase and I spent four days at the land trying to pour the monolithic slab for the shop. I really need a shop in order to store all the materials and tools for the shop. We can't really leave anything at the land or it will be stolen.
The slab has been a challenge. We have no water or power at the land so I bought a generator and rigged up a pump that I use to get water from a little creek down the road. We had all the gravel and sand delivered to the property and I hired a truck to bring the 60 bags (96 pounds each) of cement and 30 rods of re-bar to the land last Tuesday. I rented a cement mixer from my neighbor. The first day everything seemed to go wrong. I had to return to town for parts, we had trouble with the pump, and then I couldn't get the cement mixer started. We got everything ready to
The next 3 days went well. We got a good system down. We had to pour the slab in sections because of the lack of water and the time it takes to mix the concrete. Each load takes six, five gallon buckets of gravel and sand and one 96 pound bag of cement. We have to do 11 of these loads per pour. At the end of the week we did 29 loads, which is 174 buckets of material and 29 bags of cement. In the process we had to fill the water tank 11 times. On top of this, we are trying to pour concrete and finish a slab in the rainy season. We were constantly covering and un-covering the slab to finish it. We were tired.
We have been meeting our Quechua neighbors. We are the only foreigners who have ever lived in this community so they are very interested. They stop buy and ask questions about the construction and they ask what we plan on doing in the future. We basically tell them we want to build a house for our family, raise beef to butcher, and grow crops like they do. They really respect this and the fact that we work hard like they do. My neighbor, Max, came over with his family to introduce themselves. He brought pop and we all had some. He then poured out a proper amount around my concrete slab to bless it. They are very superstitious and syncretized in their belief of God and mother nature. Another neighbor stopped by and we had a long conversation about life. He said that when God gives the rain and their crops grow good, everyone is happy. However, when the rain doesn't come and the crops go bad, God is punishing them and the men must go work concrete in town. Funny. I was thinking working concrete was punishment myself. lol.
Overall, we love the land and look forward to living in the community. There are tremendous opportunities to build relationships with these simple but lost people.