Saturday, November 1, 2008

End of Week One!

We have been busy for the last few days buying light fixtures, having some furniture returned for repair as the finish had not held up well in the humidity during rainy season and having cracks in the concrete walls fixed. Everything is under warranty for a year and these are common problems in Mexico. The developer has been really above board and is fixing it all. Most of the other neighbours have similar problems, which are really minor cosmetic things, not important structural stuff. The biggest pain for us is all the time we have to spend here waiting for the workers and being home while they are in the house.

There are also lots of things we want to do to improve the place. We are going to extend the concrete rear patio to fill a space which is now covered with grass and completely useless where it is. We also want to put a roof over the utility room outside the kitchen so we can eventually install a washer and dryer there. There is a large concrete laundry sink there now which we need to have removed and a much smaller, more serviceable one put there instead.

Yesterday, we had a tinted fiberglass cover installed above each of the rear patio roofs. It will cut down on the heat and allow us to sit outside if it is raining. The only rain we’ve had so far was an hour or so the day after we arrived. Tomorrow morning I am going to the nursery to buy four vines called “Cupa de Oro” which means “Cup of Gold” The picture of it is here. A lot of the neighbours have planted it to run up the pillars of the patio roofs and I just love it. It will eventually completely cover the top of the fiberglass on the patios to make a pretty colourful roof!

We want to have two water faucets installed on the rear of the house; one on the balcony off the master bedroom and the other just below it close to the ground. It is actually lots of fun seeing what other people are doing to improve their homes and we’ve got lots of ideas as well.

We think we have one of the best locations in the complex, as we are part of a circle of houses in the middle of the development that surround the second smaller pool. In the middle of the circle it is really just a very small park, with flowers and trees. We have been socializing a lot with the owners within the circle, as we all tend to go outside and visit. The houses on the outside perimeter are smaller but each have a very private eight-foot walled in garden in the rear of the homes. Most of them go to the larger pool and don’t seem to visit much with each other.

In Canada, I LOVE the privacy of our back yard, but here, the open back is a great way to meet people. I had thought that the mix here was about 30% Mexican and 70% Canadian and American, but I was completely wrong. It is more like 55% Mexican and the rest from up north. I am amazed by the welcome that the Mexicans show towards us. It would be natural to be annoyed that we are here moving into their country but every single person has been warm and friendly. They seem sincerely pleased that we are all returning for the winter.

Our neighbours Greg and Shirley (from Abbotsford) invited us for dinner Wednesday. They have managed to completely furnish and do all the improvements they want in the last three weeks. What a fabulous job decorating, and so inspiring to see one of the homes finished! There were nine of us outside on their patio, they have fantastic patio furniture, (including an outdoor bar) and had a feast of food! Greg cooked the best pulled pork ribs I have ever eaten!!

Last night we went for dinner at another neighbour's home along with five others. Lupita is Mexican, in her late 50’s, has lived in Switzerland for the last 25 years and speaks four languages. Her Swiss husband died a couple of years ago but that is where she still spends most of her time. Her three sons live there. She is only here for another two weeks and probably won’t be back until next summer. She is lots of fun and very amusing. We had a great dinner there too, and she as well, has completely finished and furnished her home. It's beautiful.

I am very hopeful that we really are getting our Internet and telephone this coming week. There was a serviceman working on the box outside our house yesterday and he told us that it is completely ready to go. The only thing still needed is for the technician to come here and assign the telephone and account numbers and enter it into the computer back at Telmex. Then I need to go there to get my modem. There are about 40 people here anxiously waiting for service!

The only fly in my ointment in paradise is Star Choice. I had switched from Shaw Cable to Star back in August to have satellite installed in Victoria. They have a program called “Home Away From Home” where you can purchase a second dish and receiver and get the signal here in Mexico. I had to send them proof of ownership of the house here before they would send the second dish. Well, you all know how tightly packed the car was. I didn’t have an inch of spare space. Star sent us the WRONG SIZE DISH!!! I’ve emailed them and they have acknowledged that they screwed up and are sending the correct one at no charge, but only to the house in Victoria. So now, before I can get TV, I either have to rely on the mercy of someone bringing it with them when they come to visit, or I wait until I drive down next winter. I can’t have it shipped because it will sit in customs for months and I will have to pay huge import duties on it.

So that is what we have been up to for the last week. The temperature hasn’t gone below 27C, the pool water is like a bath, there are always cold cervezas in the fridge and we are lovin’ it here!

1 comment:

Andrew Tamara said...

WOW!! We are so jealous...envious...thrilled and happy for you, all at the same time!! Hello Karen and Gail! It is so awesome to read your blog - and keep up on how you are doing. We are grateful you made it to Bucerias safely and as it appears, things are going well in your new home! Despite the odd burp, here and there! It is just incredible what you are doing and we are so proud of you. Know that we are always thinking of you and hoping that your new home, neighbors and country treat you as well as you deserve to be treated! We love you! Andrew and Tamara :)