Tuesday, November 7, 2017

And it's Platoday.

Today it is Platoday. In other words the day the plato - or concrete floor is laid on the balcony. The last time we had a plato done it was on top of the guest house in Juan Dolio and I remember it distinctly as it was the day I was shot - July 21, 2006. Here's hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

Laying, pouring whatever you call it, the plato is a major job. First wood is put over the walls they built out of block and underneath the wood there are posts made from tree branches.

Here is Danilo sawing the wood, with a machete and hammer. Yes that is an electric saw behind him but apparently it burned out. It was attached to this... not sure why.

Anyway so now all the wood is laid and Danilo has to have a little snooze, as only Dominicans know how. He can sleep anywhere and anytime.

The next job is to make a sort of web of iron bars - varilla - to give the concrete strength and stop it breaking I am told.

We have tubes which will go in place for electric wiring so we can light the balcony and other tubes (well Gatorade bottles) which will allow the water to drain off it.

You can see the piece of wood at the top of the picture which is leading into the house. Next to my desk. Where I am working.

So what happens it that the guys at the front are mixing cement, gravel, sand and water.

They take their shoes off so as not to dirty their shoes - sort of home made concrete boots.Then they wheel the cement in the wheelbarrow through the living room, past my desk, onto the balcony and tip it out.

Please note my new desk with its signs which say"Be Quiet" in Spanish, callate as I spend all day long saying that, plus a picture of my mum saying"Be Quiet" as she always says that to Danilo (although he did ask me why she was saying Biscuit). The middle sign says La Jefa, the boss, just in case anyone forgets.

The wheelbarrow goes down the ramp and usually it falls over by itself and tips the cement out. Meanwhile, Saya (number one dwendy for those of you who read What about my Saucepans? ) sort of smooths it out, as it will have tiles put on top, and I would rather they are not wonky. It gets smoothed using a piece of wood which you can see at the top left of this picture

So here is hoping it will work. I have a sneaky suspicion that underneath the balcony it is dripping cement out and we have to wait 9 days I think before all the wooden supports underneath and all of the plywood is taken away. Then it is the moment of truth to see if the concrete stays in place - and for how long. Given past experience I cannot say I am feeling 100% confident.

Watch this space as they say.


  1. Oh yes, the Dominican technology in action. This is real hard work. You will have a wonderful balcony when it's done.

  2. Never a dull moment. I'm guessing it was not quiet for La Jefa!