Farm Update #8

006This past weekend I went out to the farm to see Roberto and to take more pictures. This is the latest photo of how our house looks. Rooms have been divided off–one large bedroom and one small one, a kitchen/living room combo, and a bathroom. Small, simple. That’s what we want for now. We’re almost ready for the roof and repellar the outside and inside. In Latin America people build concrete block houses and, if they have the money, they cover the walls with a smoother concrete mixture. That’s what repellar means. We also need to put down a foundation floor called a plantilla. Roberto is learning that building a house is an involved and involving process. He’s doing a great job of supervising everything, everyone, and getting the supplies.

The farm’s been without electricity for about two weeks since the local junta disconnected in order to get money from us. I think I talked about that in a previous farm update. Roberto has explored several different avenues to circumvent these local extorters (that’s what I call them). He’s contacted the electric company, which supplies the electricity but evidently doesn’t own the local grid, several times. They keep promising to come out and hook us up, but they never show up. We explored the possibility of getting our own transformer, but that’s too expensive. Finally, this past weekend our neighbor on the farm next door, who comes about once a month, told us we could connect to his private transformer which he shares with one other person. He said we didn’t have to pay him anything to connect, just help with expenses if the transformer needs repair or maintenance. He’s a very nice man and we’re happy (and relieved) to have him as a neighbor. Today Roberto came back to Cartagena with me and bought the amount of cable he needs to make the connection. He’s already lined up someone in the pueblo to hook up the wires, so if all goes well, the farm will have electricity once again. We could give the local junta “the finger,” but we can also thank them for cutting off our electric so that we were able to find a better solution than being at their mercy. Once we are hooked up to the neighbor’s private transformer, no one can cut us off except him. We still have to pay the electric company as the supplier though. We’re so happy with this new solution and look at it as a sign that we belong on the farm.

We have lots of ahuyama--a delicious type of squash.

We have lots of ahuyama–a delicious type of squash.

Crops are growing and we brought back papaya, eggplants, and ahuyama to share with Roberto’s family.

The plantains are almost ready to cut down.

The plantains are almost ready to cut down

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2 Responses to Farm Update #8

  1. Margarita Sorock says:

    Hola Maya,

    Congratulations! What is the situation with water? Do you have to fight with Aguas de Cartagena or some other entity to get the house connected? If you are almost ready to “repellar,” things have gone very quickly indeed! I cant wait to see it for myself, especially the ahuyama and the berenjena.

    Un abrazo de todo corazn, Margarita

    Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2013 01:56:58 +0000 To:

  2. mayadeb02 says:

    Water not a problem. We have the town water, plus a well that just needs to be cleaned out and a cistern made above ground.

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