Keith's Panamanian Travel Ramble

The wanderings of Andrea and Keith around Panama

Our House Takes Shape

Today is the last day of Construction before we head south to Cartagena, Columbia on Monday. The house is beginning to take shape as the walls ascent to the heavens. We can now begin to picture the size and shape of the rooms and discover the few shortfalls that need changing in the plumbing and electrical department. Three-meter ceilings are going to make for an impressive structure.

Our septic system is massive. Visitors to the site all offer a smart-assed comment of one kind or another about Canadians being full of s**t, if they need such a large system. Three holes, each large enough to bury a small car, will become the multi chamber septic tank. This would make a great place to hide a dead body. A slab poured in the bottom of the hole has walls growing up from there. I am curious about how this will be completed. The worker building the wall is inside the hole. How do you build the top of the tank without being inside it? Maybe this will be the dead body! I guess we will just have to wait and see.

The concrete blocks that we are using for the walls are problematic. They are breaking, causing quite a bit of waste. We were told that the plant making the blocks was scrimping on the cement part of the block so they crumbled too easily. In addition, the sizes are quite inconsistent. Some blocks are larger than others are. Some are thicker than others are. It makes for a situation where there will need to be more finishing on the walls.

Next week we will be in Cartagena with Alicia, the nurse who is visiting us for a week from Edmonton. Plans are to take the new overnight ferry from Colon and stay in the old city for a few days, then to move to the Santa Marta area, which is about a two-hour drive from Cartagena. I will give you some information about that part of the world as we return. In the meantime, does anybody want to supervise a construction site?

4 Responses to “Our House Takes Shape”

  1. Laurie

    Looks quite large. Also looks like an awful lot of work. Something to be said for buying an already built home. I would totally volunteer to supervise your construction site but I would be afraid that I would be that ‘dead body’ you speak of in the septic tank so for now I shall pass. 🙂

    • Keith

      I still think this is a better choice than an already built one. We get our layout and know how well/bad it is built! As far as the body in the septic tank goes, I think you would be safe as long as you left your whip at home! 🙂

  2. allig565

    Our house will be move in ready in one month. I will have to ask builder about troubles with cement blocks (if he found the same problems here near Coronado). Skimping on something always seems to be the case, and that’s everywhere. Love Cartagena and the walled city! Enjoy!

    • Keith

      Congratulations on your house. Our blocks come from the factory in Chiriquí and are bought through Comasa. Will do some blogging about Cartagena and Santa Marta Columbia when we get back in a week. Thanks for following.


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