Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Couple of "Guy" Things

Clyde here, 

Thought I would take over the Blog for a few from the real author.

A couple of things have amazed me here and I thought I would tell you about them.

The first is cutting of the grass.  We have been here over three weeks now and I have seen one lawn mower in action.  The grass is cut with one of two tools here in Panama.  The first of course is the "Machete".  They come in all sizes and I saw a nice display of them at our closest grocery store the other day.   The machetes are normally used for cutting down the big stuff.  We have come across more than one "machete crew" on the side of the road cutting down the big rougher stuff.  Kind of brings to mind what one thinks Panama "should" look like.


Ok, now for the other tool.  Instead of using mowers of any type, they have crews of men with giant weed eaters.  These things are rather large and strap onto the user.  They also have two handles sticking up in order to keep the string platform horizontal to the ground to get a nice even cut.  It is nothing to see crews of ten to twenty men along side the highway cutting the grass with these huge weed eaters.  I took these two pictures from my carport as these two young men were weed eating the lot across from my house.


The second thing I wanted to mention was the Construction of Everything.  Every building and house in Panama is made of cement.  They use cinder block construction for every thing.  They are called "bloques" here.  Not only are the outside wall made of bloques and cement, all of the construction in the house is made this way also.  All of the interior walls are made of bloques and even the frames for the cabinets are made in this matter.  Quite interesting the way they use the cheapest matierial available.  Seems like they use steel 2 x 4's with metal roofing around here for the housing.

Addition under way to extend neighbors carport

The funny part is their method of construction.  My next door neighbor is having his little carport extended.  Not only the base, but the covering also.  So, the truck shows up from the "ferreteria" (the hardware store) with his supplies.  Up drives this flat bed truck with 12" sides.  It has one pile or blocks, one pile of sand and one pile of rocks.  There are also some bags of cement too.  The blocks are carefully placed in the street, and then next to them, they shovel off the sand and then the rocks.  The cement is stored under the carport to keep it from getting wet.


Front of neighbors house being worked on

So, now it is time to start construction.  The laborer takes his flat shovel and scoops up what he needs into another pile right there on the street.   He adds water and mixes everything to the proper consistency.  Then he either transports it to the needed place with a 5 gallon bucket or wheel barrow.

Other Neighbor, his work was done three weeks ago

After the project is done, they just seem to leave everything there in the street in case they need it later for another job.  I have to tell you, one can be driving down a major highway and right there on the side of the road are the piles of materials and perhaps a laborer mixing his batch.  In front of my house, there are no leftover piles of rock or sand, just a cement spot in the middle of the road.


My own concrete spot in front of my house


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