Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Finally, we have rain

It has been a while since we have had a good rain, but last night it poured for a good hour or so. It also put on a good light show on the distant clouds, with lightning about every couple of seconds. It was too far away to hear the thunder, but the light show was enough. There has been rain in Chetumal and in Corozal, just not here in Consejo. It just seems to pass us by.

The work site was a mess with all the mud and water and they needed to empty the cistern and pool before they could start their work, so things got off to a slow start. But they had a job pouring concrete around the pool and cistern that needed to be done today. A little rain won't stop these guys. They did need to dig a small trench to drain some of the water from around the retaining wall but the concrete pour went ahead as scheduled. Things are starting to move along.

John has scheduled us to go over to Chetumal, Mexico on Friday, to look at a window manufacturer that may have a better price and/or quality than he is getting right now. With so few construction jobs going on in the area right now, suppliers are lining up to do business with him. He stresses quality first, then price. I'm looking forward to seeing what they have to offer.

On Saturday, Phil Freytag was looking for company on the drive down to Orange Walk, a medium size town about an hour or so drive from Consejo. I had no plans that day, so I said sure. I had only been through Orange Walk once, and that was driving through at night, after I had flown into Belize City. Phil had some places he needed to visit, but was willing to show me around the town and stop in the few places that I had wanted to see. We stopped in a couple of tile shops and hardware stores that he thought I should know about. It's a much different city than Corozal. It's geared more towards the business sector and manufacturing and had many more big businesses than Corozal. The tile shops had a nice selection of tiles and trim, so I don't think we will have a problem finding tiles that we like. The hardware store, though, is no Home Depot. They are more like a small town hardware store, but unfortunately, what they have is what you get. There is not a lot of selection and you must be willing to improvise with what you do have access to.

After showing me around Orange Walk, he took me to a wonderful Chinese resturant, Mr. Lee's, where we had a plentiful lunch and a price that couldn't be beat. Three entrees', a Belikin, Coke and water cost all of $38 Belize, or about $19US. That meal would have been double that in Camarillo. I haven't had the guts to try any of the many Chinese food places in Corozal. They just don't look that appetizing.

After lunch we went over to where they made the pilings that they drove for me at the Shores. Quite an operation they have there, making pilings, T-bars and pre-manufactured septic tanks. It was really dusty though and probably a miserable place to work when the wind kicks up. I'm sure last nights' rain helped that situation. They showed us around all of the manufacuring facilities and how they pre-stress the concrete.

After that we went over to another brick and pre-stressed concrete manufacturing facility, Rick's, that was in town. They are a business that really wants to expand their product line and are looking for new ways to do just that. Phil had worked with some of Rick's clients before, so they were able to "talk shop" and catch up on old connections.
It was getting late in the afternoon, around 3PM and we had been gone for about 6 hours, so it was time to head back to Consejo. It was a pleasant drive with everchanging scenery and even a Mayan ruin or two. We were back in Consejo in no time. It was a very informative trip that I will probably do again before I leave.

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