We’ve been settling into a new routine, now that our builder has disappeared. With our workers still keen to stay with us, we’ve been taking on the role of foreman ourselves. Each morning, bright and early, we meet the workers and discuss what needs to be done today. While they have breakfast, my husband and I drop the kids at school and head to the biggest local hardware store to pick up any supplies. They know us by first name these days!
Throughout the day, we keep an eye of the workers and make sure they are on task, or clarify any things that need to be done. However, they have been on our build for over 1 year, so they know the build very well. It’s slow and steady progress, but with our budget nearing the end, we can only afford to do a little at a time. Plus it means we can be sure what is getting done each day.
Lock the gate!
Now that we have our small team who we know very well, we’d noticed that a lot of random people seem to be turning up and walking into the site/our villa compound. Some are simply bakso sellers looking for hungry workers to feed but others may have nefarious intentions. They scramble out once spotted. We’re coming up on a year of pandemic in a country with basically no social security system, so there are plenty of desperate people. These days, the front gate remains firmly locked.
We also added some cameras and motion detectors to our villa. Fortunately, Bali is generally a very safe place, but better safe than sorry.
It seems our builder does not just owe money to us and our workers. People are coming around semi-regularly looking for him. Whether it’s the local sand supplier, or the local hardware, there appears to be quite a trail of owed money.
What’s getting done?
The main jobs that our workers have been focussing on are painting some of the walls in areas that have been finished, and using white cement to cover some of the ugly unfinished exterior walls. It’s a easy solution and makes them look significantly better.
We also finished up some of the plumbing work that our consultant Edo had recommended. We’d been using temporary pipes from our well to the big water tank that sits on top of the building. We removed those pipes and had the final pipes put in underground.
We also installed our water filter. It’s a process of 3 filters. It takes the water from the well and removes a lot of the nasties before it enters the water tank. Water for the garden doesn’t go through this process, but I definitely wanted it for the water in the house. While we don’t use this water for cooking, I wanted to improve the quality of the water in the shower. Water quality varies a lot and ours is not too bad, but it’s still hard water and the water filters work well to soften it.
Diane the angel!
Once again, it was my amazing gardener/landscaper/saviour Diane to the rescue. She’d popped over with her team to do some landscaping and noticed that the drainage holes in our courtyard (about 20cm by 10cm) were still uncovered. Our builder hadn’t paid our metal worker so (quite rightly) he stopped turning up. We hadn’t had time to get on this task, but Diane noticed it.
Quick as a flash, she called over her own metal worker and gave him the measurements. A few days later, the metal grates arrived!
As she was supervising their installation, she noticed another problem. Our tempered class for our balcony fence (so it stops being a death trap!) had arrived, and the metal poles between each piece had already been installed, but we were missing the metal pieces that attach to the metal poles and grip the glass. Once again, she called over her metal guy who made them up within a few days. Instead of just installing them and leaving, she said, “let’s do it all”. So with her team of 4 gardeners, they lifted up the very heavy tempered glass and installed it for us.
Once again, Diane saved us! I absolutely love her! She goes above and beyond every time!