Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Totto's new home is nearly ready

The work on Totto’s new environment is at last nearing completion. It has been subject to so many delays. The main problem has been the shortage of supplies for the construction. Finally, we had to go out of State to obtain materials. Not least among the problems has been the big increase in the price of the high quality wire. Today we paid 240,000 Bs for one roll. Fortunately, this is the final roll of eight to complete the work.
Our pension from the U.K. has been another source of delay. For some reason they decided that they wanted us to confirm that we were both alive and well. (Annoying but a genuine request, not a Phishing). Funds were curtailed until an answer was received. This request was contained in a letter, which still has not arrived. We finally resolved the problem with them by telephone. But not before the cash position here had got to a difficult level. People in England cannot believe that it can take three months for a letter to arrive here. We are just now receiving Christmas cards. Thank you Lorenzo and Tim.

On the right, the photograph shows the double gate system. William, one of our local workers, has completed all the metal soldering. The house on the left is quite complex so I hope that Totto likes what we have made for him. We have studied his behavior and built the house around his habits. There are two floors connected by an internal staircase. The top floor will allow him to take advantage of the cool afternoon breeze that flows through the valley. There is also a small shelf in the roof, where he can sit on rainy days. The Swiss style roof is double and angled away from the usual direction of the rain. The main room has two entrances and will have sack doors to keep out the weather. The walls and floor will also be covered.
There is not a lot more to do. The final roll of wire must be attached. The doors have to be constructed. The area contains two live mango trees and these will be connected up to the house with bamboo walkways, which will stretch completely around the whole area. There will be no need for Totto to go down to the ground.
We will add ropes, swings, and various toys to make life interesting. In particular, Totto likes to have a platform on which to laze. This location was carefully chosen because it has a generous mixture of sun and shade. It is spacious and inside the security fence, which you can see in the background.
This project is way over schedule but the work is well done and I think Totto and Sophie will be happy here.

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