April 12, 2008

Grey Goose Express becomes base camp at Arroyo Seco

ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - Adm. Fox and I spent a good part of the morning Friday trying to find plastic chairs and mats - and some other outside accessories - for the Grey Goose Express, now safely parked in place on our downtown construction lot.

Those plastic chairs - which you can pick up for about $5 USD each in the U.S. - are more expensive here and we ended up spending about $10 per chair after getting the store owner to give us a discount. But now we have six chairs, a table, and woven mats on the ground to keep the dirt from climbing aboard on our shoes when we go inside to the refrigerator for cervezas.

And yesterday I was in and out of the refrigerator like a hungry teenager.

Grey Goose Express on site
Grey Goose Express base camp at Arroyo Seco

We set up our chairs and being the object of much curiousity, we quickly drew some vecinos (neighbors) who came over to get a gander at the work and also get a closeup look at these gringos locos (you can translate that one) who are building in the middle of town.

It turned out one of the visitors was the mother of a local worker just hired that day to move huge rocks and do some shoveling. And like mothers of all nations, she called him over to introduce him to us, then lectured him about the need to drink more water.

And like all sons of all nations, he was mortified that his mother did it.

Lake Cement Mixer
Cement mixer a la Mexicana

When people work in Mexico, most of it is done by hand, quite literally. And the photo above shows the mixing of the mortar for the rock wall that forms the foundation for what eventually will be an eight-foot high brick wall on the eastern portion of the lot. And all the mixing is done right there on one of the concrete slabs, left over from the three buildings we had knocked down early on.

After it's mixed, the guys put the mix into big buckets and carry it on their shoulders over to where the wall is being built. These guys don't bother going to gyms to work out on some Nautilus machine.

Rock foundation
The rock foundation

Clever observers have no doubt noted that there is already a brick wall on that side of the property.


And in initial conversations, we were told that it belonged to our neighbor and so we were advised to build our own divider. It turns out that we do own part of the existing wall. But the workers are doing such a good job, we are going to move ahead with a whole new wall anyway.

Good fences make good neighbors and all that.

View from the back of the lot
View from the back of the lot

After a long day at the site (ok, it was four hours), Dustin and Cami arrived from Puerto Vallarta to take a tour. We adjourned back to La Manzanilla and Palapa Joe's Restaurant where the food and drinks were outstanding (as they always are) and we were there long enough to visit with local bon vivant (and retiree) Jane Gorby, out for a night on the town.

This afternoon Chief Engineer Scott Noble and his wife Jennifer arrive for a much-deserved week of vacation. Jennifer just graduated from law school and will henceforth be referred to as Chief Counsel.

I'm not sure her American-made law shingle has much clout down here, but I have been practicing how to introduce her in Spanish to our non-English speaking amigos: Mi amiga es una abogada...


Jenn said...

I miss Arroyo Seco too! You are making some impressive progress since I was there in February! Tell Dustin and Cami I said hi!

Anonymous said...

por favor, diga "hola" para mi (a jennifer)!

Anonymous said...

por favor diga "hola" para mi (a jennifer)