When we made the last trip, I stayed for a little over a week and we agreed that Art should stay longer. The building was done for now and we didn't want the property left vacant. Reluctantly I left him and headed back to Oregon.
The really difficult part of this whole project has been balancing this dream with our love and concern for our family. My mother was here in Oregon and in failing health with Alzheimers and we have a son and daughter and 5 grandchildren here, as well as my brother and his family. We stopped our building for a bit to concentrate on family. In January my beloved mother passed away. We were so blessed by her gentleness and sweet nature to the end. Art was devastated too by her death and flew home.
After we came to grips with this loss, we decided to go ahead with our plans. It's still difficult, but we feel that our children have their own lives to live and we should allow ourselves to finish our dream.
Because of the expense of these constant trips, we decided that I should make another trip down by myself to get things going again. Besides everything, we didn't want to lose Amelio to another project, if we could help it. This next project was to lay out the spot for our little house so that we could decide exactly where to put the cistern. I guess I failed to say that, since our property is high on a hill and far from the village, we'll collect water from the roofs and want an underground cistern. It's actually fairly small, being 12 x 12 x 8'. Since it will mostly be just the two of us, we're hoping this will suffice. If we run short of water, it's just a short run down the hill to the fast-moving Mopan River. We feel we can bring water up from there if necessary.
Amelio and I agreed on the locations and he staked it out. He's fantastic at trying to get everything exactly right. We admire him so much as he reads everything he can get his hands on about building. Our house will be 20 x 30', living room/kitchen, one bedroom and a bath. We decided to expand our original plan, which called for one veranda to 6' verandas on three sides and and 8' on the back. This one will better accomodate a table and chairs. Unlike the Mennonite house, ours will be on concrete piers with a concrete beam around the perimeter. This will allow for hurricane straps to secure the building.
At this point I had to head back home again, leaving Amelio with our dream. He was busy lining up a backhoe and supplies, hoping to get everything up the hill before the rains hit. BOY WE'RE GETTING TIRED OF GOING BACK AND FORTH!