We study the weather forecast daily on the internet, and it looked as though the rainy season was starting to peter out. That was until last Saturday night, when it started raining at nightfall and continued throughout the night and into the morning.
Of course we are living in Sucre, about 20 kilometres from our land, and it often rains in the city and doesn't out in the countryside. But this time it was not to be, and we knew we were in for a shock when we had trouble negotiating the normally dry river in our 4 x 4 on the way up to our land.
The living room resembled a swimming pool and our immediate concern was to remove any water that might have seeped into the foundations underneath the enormous 5 metre columns we were building at the front of this area.
We had been ready to pour the second part of the concrete roof early this week, and all the beams and insulation pads had been installed. We had put tarpaulins over all areas as best we could, but the sheer volume of water had proved too much for our efforts to waterproof the adobe walls underneath.
The wooden poles placed to support the roof beams had been carefully measured to ensure a gentle run off of rainwater from the finished roof. But the rain had saturated the dirt floor and the poles had sunk.
The adobe arch leading into one of the bathrooms had collapsed.
The same bathroom arched window had also collapsed.
Throughout the section prepared for covering with the roof this week there was further damage to be seen.
Even my bedroom, which had a roof on, didn't escape the rain, as the water from the living room area had run down the sloping corridor.....
and the electrical box installed ready for our power hookup this week suffered a drenching, too.
But we pumped out and bailed out the living room with buckets until the area was reasonably dry.
Today we explored many options with our maestros as to how to proceed with the roof. The common concensus was to place wooden lintels over damaged areas next to the roof beams, pour the concrete roof and then rebuild the archways from within.
This has been our first setback during our experimental build. Yesterday we felt rather knocked down, but we have already bounced back and are optimistic that our beautiful house WILL emerge from this and any further challenges from mother nature.
ABOUT SKY HACIENDA
June Donaldson and Edward Garry live at an altitude of 2,600 metres in Mosoj Llajta, Yotala, 20 minutes from the colonial city of Sucre in Bolivia, South America. Using earth and stones from the land, we have sculpted beautiful buildings which compliment the high desert landscape and incorporate creative and innovative elements of design.
We have designed a high quality hotel in Sucre for guests who want to get off the treadmill of travelling from city to city in South America. At Sky Hacienda you can dictate your own timing and choose how to enjoy your stay, whether it is doing very little or exploring the best that the Andes in Bolivia has to offer.