Monday, September 14, 2009

Palapa – final day of construction

Friday we started work early again, around 7am. Some of the kids came again since the school teachers were at a workshop and school was out. The first job was finding about 20 more cohune leaves nearby so that we didn’t have to drive anywhere for the final touches. In about an hour, the leaves were chopped, dragged, split, stacked and ready for the final assembly session.

Everyone was back again, in position, and off we went again. When the final side was done, we had to put whole leaves across the top and we used steel pipe from some of the cages that were removed, to hold down the top. We could have used sticks but they are exposed to the elements at the very top and steel will last forever. Once everything was in place, the pipe ends had to be trimmed and we were DONE!!!!!

One of the things we have found, not only here in Belize but also in the USA, if you have music to work to, everyone is much happier and it makes the day go so much faster. For these guys, it is a treat to listen to music during work since electricity is so scarce. So, on the days we were doing “quiet” work (not much noise from other machinery), we pulled out our little stereo and played tunes for everyone. I had my MP3 running but unfortunately for the local guys, I only have about 4 albums in Spanish so I had them start bringing their own CDs for some of their own local music. Everyone was happy though to have some rhythm in the background!

Now started the hard part, getting the Winnebago under the Palapa. We were in a hurry to get the Winnie in since thunder was booming in the background and we didn’t know how long we had until the rain started. The driveway into “The Hollow” is pretty steep and just clay so we quickly got it down the drive and started backing it into position. The ground was so uneven that we had to make a plank roadway with sapodilla 2x12s that I have to make a set of stairs. It was really close on the driver’s side, and also on the passenger’s side. But we made it in just as it started to POUR!

We were dry though under the palapa and happy we beat the rain. It rained for about and hour getting everything outside thoroughly drenched so that was the end of the day – cleanup would have to wait until things dried out a bit. However, in order for Marjie and Chuck to be able to sleep in the camper, Chuck and I leveled it out a bit using jacks, scrap wood, planks, and jack stands. Now we just have do the final leveling and the Winnie is in its new resting spot for a while, and out of the rain and sun.

This is the final project, our first palapa on Moonracer Farm!

From the front.

And from the back.

1 comment:

sandy a said...

I have really enjoyed all the blog posts about building the palapa!! That is just too cool!. A real palapa (from cohune palm) is kind of expensive to build on the peninsula because they have to go so far for the palm leaves.