Archive | August 2018

Home Building Experiences in Panama

Yesterday we were out at the property where our home is being built.  When construction started a couple months ago we had a beautiful, 12 to 14 wide driveway.

It took no time at all for delivery trucks to ruin it.  They would invariably run into the ditch on the downward slope of the drive, ignoring the 8 ft of width that would have been available to them.   It very much looks like these drivers simply don’t know how to drive.

Shortly after noon yesterday, a dump truck attempted to back up our drive with a load of fill material, basically sand and rocks.  He didn’t get very far.

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We normally arrive at the property around 7AM and are ready to call it a day by 1PM.  At 1PM today we realized we weren’t going anywhere.  The truck had too much of our driveway hopelessly blocked.  So we waited.  For two hours we waited, unable to get an answer as to when help for this guy might arrive.

Shortly after 3:00 we decided I would hike to the main road, get a bus into Volcan, and come back with our friend Suzi’s car.  I barely arrived at the bus stop when a black pickup turned off the main road with another dump truck right behind him.  The dump truck turned around to back up, hopefully heading for our driveway.  In the process of turning around, he managed to break a neighbor’s water line, buried only slightly below the surface.   As I was the only person around when they realized the damage, I’m the one they came after.  All I could do then was offer my sympathy and apology and the assurance that someone would fix it.

I walked back toward our property, confident that the second dump truck was there to pull out the first one.  My relief turned to more frustration as I found the the second truck was now stuck as well.  The main road was now blocked to all but horse traffic.

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The afternoon rain began in earnest by about 3:30.  The work crew was ready to leave.  But how?  One of the workers suggested going through our neighbor’s manicured lawn, after pulling out a section of barbed wire fencing.  In no way was I in favor of this, but on seeing that’s exactly what they were going to do, I went along with it.

Then there was the matter of getting to the main road with the two trucks blocking the way.  One of the workers knew a back way to the main road so we followed him.  It was 20 minutes or so of really bad road, followed by maybe 10 minutes of paved road, and we were back on the main road, Via Volcan, just a couple miles below the road to our property.  We stopped by on our way back home to see if there was any progress in getting the trucks out.  There was not.

By this morning the second truck had been extricated but the first remained in place.  Along with a huge mess.