OK, I know this is the big question on everyone’s mind (because it is the first question anyone asks when I talk with them personally by phone or email) – however, for several reasons, there has not been much to report as of late.
I think I mentioned previously that things slowed down when I chose a cabinet/door maker who is not one of my builder’s “suppliers.” However, I know in the long run I will be happy with that decision! Don Pedro is from the town of Salinas (3 hours south on the coast) and he is well known for his work as a “maestro” in that area. My friends Mark and Diane (who I am certain you will hear much about in future blog posts – they are the only current full-time residents in my development and were some of my first contacts before I moved to Ecuador) lived in Salinas for a year before their house was completed here and saw Don Pedro’s beautiful work in a friend’s home. So they hired him to make their cabinets here, which I fell in love with, so I hired him to make mine (and all my doors and every other piece of wood in my entire house!) Everything will be out of beautiful cedar (with the wonderful smell that goes with it) – my doors should be installed next week.
In addition to the slow down that happened trying to get my builder and cabinet maker on the same page, I was then told about 3 weeks ago that the floor tile I chose was no longer available! My builder took my sample and looked a few places for a suitable replacement, but found nothing close enough for my taste. So Wednesday, I hired Hernan (who I first hired a few weeks ago to take me shopping for appliances in Guayaquil) to take me tile shopping in Manta. I was introduced to Hernan by some friends (the couple who were originally the caretakers when I first arrived at the place I am currently living) as an awesome resource for just about anything! He was born in Ecuador, but his family moved to the states when he was younger. He was a firefighter in the U.S. military, then 13 years ago, he came back to Ecuador and decided to stay! He married and now has a sweet family in Manta. Hernan is great because he speaks both English and Spanish fluently, knows the culture and his way around and has a kind heart and desire to help people in any way he can, especially gringos! He acts as driver, translator and price negotiator, as well as providing a wealth of information for just about anything else you could need. Within two hours we had visited more tile stores than I could count and located (actually at the very first store) the tile that is the closest to what I had previously chosen.
Also, as I just mentioned, a few weeks ago I went shopping in Guayaquil for my appliances (so that my cabinetmaker would have the measurements), so I am now the proud owner of a refrigerator, stove top, oven and washer/dryer!
There is still quite a bit left to do, but hopefully now with these major efforts finally behind me, things will begin picking up again. My windows were installed last week and the a/c units this week. Once the tile is in, a second coat of paint will be done. In the meantime, I’m still quite comfortable where I am – but I am looking forward to being on the other side of all this and settled into my own home.
Below are a few pictures of the most recent updates: