Tag Archives: water

A Slight Shift for the Better


Posted by Cassie

Dominos in Plaza
Men playing dominos in the Rincon plaza after Maria

It only takes ridding yourself of all you have had to appreciate once again. In other words, you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. But when (and if) it comes back you will feel tremendous gratitude. Our water came back on last Saturday.

IMG_1954
Woman guarding the generator that is powering the pump for water

We had seen the women sitting in camp chairs guarding the generators near the water pumps and anticipated it might come on any day. One day passed, two, three and we began to lose hope. Then we came back one evening after being out and about to an overflowing cistern. Our cup literally overfloweth.

Filling up at the terminal
We no longer have to fill up our trash can with water and bring it to our cistern!

Conversations often revolved around which utility would be better to have back on if we could only choose one and nearly all would agree: water. Humans (and most forms of life for that matter) have lived without electricity for most of time, but we have always needed water. Also, we can run about 10 hours of electricity to our whole house with our little generator using only about 2 gallons of gasoline. One the other hand 2 gallons of water, while cheaper only flushes a toilet or two.

La planta
Our hard-working little generator has made our life a lot easier!

With the arrival of water to our place there has been a slight (ok, major) shift for the better. We are more energized for everything especially now that the weather is a little cooler and less humid. In the collective consciousness there is a little more joy too. Most people now have water and some even have electricity.

IMG_1950
Navidad Boricua is upon us!

But more than that it is the festive Christmas season! Musica navidena is already being played on the radios, karaoke bars and even roadside makeshift Spanish guitar drunken sing-a-longs in the dark.

We can do it
Si, se puede! We can do this!

Additionally, more and more food can be found in the stores though we have still become accustomed to the can aisle and even boxed milk instead of fresh anything, not only because of the accessibility of these items in the stores, but because we can’t run our fridge very long.

Box milk
Boxed milk for the win!

Water in econo
Bottled water is now available in the stores as well

The packages we received from friends and family (AKA some of you!) really helped to lift our spirits as well. What we haven’t been using, we have passed on to others in need like our friend Glen who is homeless and lives at the gazebos in the balneario. He recently ran out of bug spray and had a bout of sickness.

When we heard of others losing so much more than us, it also helped to put our situation in perspective. We know at least three people who have lost nearly everything -their house and all their belongings in the storm- and yet they still get up every day and even have a smile on their face, at least when we’ve talked to them. Our other friend Hector lost his entire house and had to live on the streets for a few days after Maria. I can only imagine how scary and devastating to his life that must be.

Hector in house
Our friend Hector with the remains of his house

There is still a little sadness that permeates every conversation. ‘How are you?’ is answered pretty much always with ‘bien mas o menos’ or ‘good, all things considered.’ Everything is couched in the fact that we all know we have been through something traumatic, but are pulling ourselves through it.

Hector and house
Hector with his destroyed house

Britton and I have been trying to enjoy the down time and re-energize ourselves. We have spent some fun moments with friends and are planning some projects around the property.

Bill and Jenn FriendsAt the Castillo Serralles haunted house in Ponce

Now that we have water we can do some of those concrete projects that we have put off and clear more areas of the property. We are looking forward to planting more fruit trees and ornamentals.

Clearing more space
Britton has been throwing logs while I clear through the vine mess

I have noticed that living in Puerto Rico really is somewhat enchanted. Strange, unexplainable and life shaking moments are interspersed with a peace, beauty and happiness that is hard to compare. Being in the Bermuda Triangle they say can do that. Radio frequencies shift ever so slightly and a Katy Perry song turns into a salsa song and back again.  And so it is now on la isla del encanto: a slight shift for the better. This is not to say that it is easy; it is still super hard to do anything. It is like reading a book in a dream or trying to run a marathon in 3 foot deep mud. For instance, it has taken me three trips to different places for internet on two broken laptops just to write this simple post. But seguimos pa’lante, we keep going forward! It’s the only way.

Gypsy future
When will the electricity come back on? The future is uncertain, but one thing’s for sure: playing dress up is fun! ;-)

IMG_1951
With one of the hardworking people putting back together the power grid

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Cabin Update: Electric and Water


Posted by Cassie

Agua y luz. Water and electricity. When you move into a house, this is what makes it a house and not just a shed or storage area. We recently finished up the electricity installation including the fans and it really makes it feel like home when you can just turn on the lights at night, the fans when it gets hot, or turn on a little music.

Fans at the cabin
Outdoor fans for the front deck

Britton also framed in the last bit of the wall and the bathroom loft area. We are in the home stretch!

Wall Ceiling and Fan in Cabin
Bedroom fan and framed wall

LoftRafters above the bathroom and closet 

To install water at the cabin, Britton connected about 300 feet of 1/2 inch tubing, buried about half of it, crossed the property, affixed it beneath the sky bridge and then connected it to the cabin.

Waterline under bridge
Waterline where it travels under the bridge

Waterline to the house
Waterline where it connects from the bridge to the cabin

Next up was internal copper water lines which Britton soldered. Thankfully we have plenty of leftover copper pipes that we reused from the old wooden house and so this was fairly inexpensive. Britton has also worked a little with copper piping before and so this went fast. There was one pipe rupture but Britton fixed it pretty quickly.

Water piping inside
Bathroom plumbing and wiring are ready!

You could call this the house that Britton built. Almost everything he did himself or with one other helper. There has not been a moment when he was not working hands on. An amazing feat. It can take a little longer when it’s just you and you’re learning as you go, but he has been a champ. He’s done a great job!

We are now on to the next phase. The skin. Drywall should arrive this upcoming week and Britton and Waldemar will begin installation. It’s all coming together and really starting to feel like a house. I can’t wait to move in!

Cabin in the woods
Home sweet cabin! 

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Getting Set Up in Rincon


Posted by Britton

It’s been difficult to update due to the problems with our internet server back in Colorado.  It seems the power went out there and the internet has been spotty.  It appears to be working better for now so I figured we’d post up some pictures.

We’ve been doing errands to get set up with our house in Rincon.  We got the water turned on and we have the electrcity on and in our names too!  The water we were able to do online, but the electric we went into Aguadilla to the AEE offices.  Everyone has been very friendly and helpful with us.


Water Guy Leaving.

The timing of the water being turned on was awesome.  We were just about to leave and go to the beach where they have a public shower to hose off with when I heard a truck.  We spoke to him…Well Cassie did.  He waited for us to check the house and ensure nothing was leaking before leaving.  He was super nice.

Cassie and “Water Guy”

Then we headed up to the Puntas Bakery and I put a few hours of work in.  It is nice that I am able to work remote and help out.  It means I don’t burn as much vacation time and they get to have a part time worker when they are really busy. 

The bakery is pretty good for breakfast and it is just up the road from the house.  You can usually spot someone sleeping in the middle of the day in Puerto Rico.


What a life!

Hopefully the blog stays steady for a while.  It’s one of those things where you just never know what will happen when you leave.  The webserver has been difficult but thanks to my sister and mother in law it is functional.  It’s frustrating.  Kind of like when you try to run in a dream and you just cant..lol.

We have been staying in this small concrete studio apt that is also on the property.  It works out perfectly -our air mattress, a bathroom (now complete with water!), and electricity to watch a few shows we brought with us on the laptop before falling asleep!


Concrete Studio

One of the huge royal palms in the “backyard” 4 acres

We’ve got a lot of interesting stories building up due to internet being sparse and our blog being down.  Hopefully we’ve got steady access and can update more frequently now!

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