After a good, hard rain yesterday we're enjoying sunshine today. I've got a few windows open to let the warm (low 60s) air in, and I'm wearing a sleeveless shirt. It's actually a little cooler today than it's been most of the week, probably due to the rain, but it feels wonderful. Gotta love the winters in Carlos Paz!
Knowing we couldn't possibly do everything ourselves by the end of the month, we've looked for outside help. Yesterday missionary friends came to help Ivan install a drywall ceiling in the kitchen/living room of the casita. What a job! They had to attach the framework for the drywall to the round, wood beams that are all wonky and not even close to being level. But by the end of a looooong day, it was done.
This weekend we've hired a couple guys to lay the tile floors in the casita. They're brothers who were part of the crew that poured the finished cement floor for the house/garage. Initially we thought it would be just one guy, and it would probably take this weekend and next, but the brothers showed up this morning and they're pretty confident they can knock out the job this weekend.
The rain yesterday uncovered a problem in the garage. Ivan realized he's going to need to fully finish plastering the exterior walls so rain water can't seep in. He's only been able to finish one of the three walls, and that one isn't completely done because now that the roof is on, he needs to finish the seam between the two. The other two sides are partially plastered (as in they have a couple centimeters of cement plaster and will need at least that much again). I asked if we could put our things on pallets and away from the walls, in order to meet our end-of-the-month deadline, and then he can finish plastering after we get moved. He's not sure if that's feasible. He's going to study the problem, and ask his friend Julio for advice.
Julio, his 80-year-old aviation buddy, has offered to help him install the garage door this week. Since we bought the door used, without the paperwork, it's going to take some figuring. Besides designing and building a number of small airplanes, Julio has also built a number of houses over the years. Although he never finished his degree in engineering, he has the knowledge and plenty of experience so he's one of Ivan's "go to" guys for advice on things like this.
If they decide the plastering has to be done before we move, we'll probably see if we can't hire some guys to help. Doing that would still be cheaper than having to put off moving and pay another month of rent -- especially since our landlady told Ivan she's raising the rent by almost 50%! The rent went up 50% over four years and we thought that was ridiculous. To go up 50% in one year is insane.
Costs are rising weekly on everything from food to building materials to gas and just about everything else. Actually I shouldn't say "just about" because we don't know the cost of anything that isn't rising sharply. People are starting to fear that we're headed for hyper-inflation, a not uncommon occurrence in Argentine history.
Which makes us even more thankful that, despite it's tiny size, we can move into the casita and have a set monthly payment (on the construction loan) and not have to worry about out-of-control rent payments.
Middle of the week we'll be taking a little break from work on the garage and casita, in order to pick up friends at the airport and take them home. They live in Sta. Rosa and we'll also be using the trip to haul a trailer load of things we plan to use or store at our house there. Each bedroom has a ledge above the closets with space to store boxes, plus I can probably squeeze a few more into the storeroom. And we're taking some furniture too; things like nightstands, our IKEA Poang chairs, a wicker chest... Anything that could be useful out there means less that we have to store in our new garage. Because it would be helpful if Ivan still has some space to work in it!
The kitchen cabinetry for the casita is all painted and ready to install. We realized that once we get both cabinets and the stove in, there's not going to be space for the fridge on that back wall. Ivan said we'll keep an eye out for a smaller used fridge that we can slide into the 50 cm space remaining (that's just under 19.5 inches). Do they make fridges that skinny?
I've got almost everything in the guest room, study and living room packed, and I've gone through a good number of boxes already in the garage, sorting according to where they'll go: casita, garage or Sta. Rosa. It's good that the packing is about done because I'll be spending most of this coming week at the casita, priming and painting the ceilings and walls.
Meeting our end-of-the-month deadline is going to be a challenge! But we plan to do our level best to meet it. Prayers are appreciated.