He had recently built a beautiful banquette at our friends house, and outdoor benches for their patio space, we learned the word mismo which is supposed to mean "exactly". (When I translated it, it came up "the same") and so we tried to convey what we wanted. Manuel is good with our limited Spanish, he's been dealing with gringos for awhile, and between the English he's learned, pen, paper and sign language we get the point across...mostly
We had 5 things on our list, kitchen island/counter, couch/seating, two side tables and a footstool. He started on the kitchen island
Not exactly the picture I showed him, but it will have a bottom shelf for the big water bottles, and another shelf for some dishes. Counter height, far better than the plastic card table I'd been using, and much more flat surface.
Veronica checking to see if Manuel's still working. She also saw the neighbor cat back there the other day, so she may be on "cat patrol".
Two days and maybe $75 worth of materials, not bad. He trimmed it out very nicely, made my space for dishes a bit smaller, but like I said, it's mucho mejor. (Much better)
Now onto the next project, the seating for the tv room...we requested a large bench, with hinged lid for storage. We requested it be lower than the sofa we had in there, to accommodate for the cushions we would have made...we went over and over with the measurements, he understood about the cushions, we agreed on 30 cm, somehow the bench ended up being 36 cm, hmmmmm. We put interim cushions on it, but decided it wasn't comfortable enough, and maybe the sofa wasn't so bad, ugh.
We had agreed to Manuel for 5 days, it was the nearing the end, everybody was tired, and he still had my side table, and the footstool to build. We decided to end it with what he had done, we'd already purchased the wood, but really didn't want to go over budget for two more days of labor, he understood and was happy with it.
So we had $125 in labor, and $250 in wood, have waaaaaaay more storage than we did a week ago, and even tho the bench seating didn't work out for the tv room, it will be used. We will go to PortoViejo one of these days to the cushion guy, and who knows, maybe he can make really comfy cushions for us. Mike's side table turned out bigger than the measurements given too, but he's got it all figured out.
Manuel is 62 years old, and from now on I think we will stick to smaller projects. 2-3 days would be better, it also means we don't have to save up as much money. He's happy for the work, and is a good guy, but we can tell when he's tired. He was very thankful for our new shade structure, it made for better working conditions, we just asked for too much. (Typical American, right?)
All is good, another great day on the coast of Ecuador, waiting for the organic egg man and then it'll be walk on the beach time. Mimosas and brunch with friends mañana...so stay tuned, the adventure continues!