For a couple years, while the main construction was happening at the institute and the infrastructure was being planned and built, I made fun of how UGLY it was. It was functional for quite a while, while maintaining this sad case of the "uglies". It went from being something we joked about to where I was really concerned that 10 years from now this farm was going to still be an eyesore. I kept asking Jimmy if we could do something about it, but when you feel like there are a million things more practical in line to get on the budget before aesthetics, it just isn't possible. It seemed like as fast as we cleaned something up, some other construction project ruined it.
My main argument was that aesthetics would lift morale and really encourage everyone to take care of things and have some respect for the facilities. Still Jimmy is one of the most practical persons you could meet, and I was wasting my breath. Then all of a sudden Jimmy came home one day and said he contracted a flagstone guy to build a porch on the front of the classrooms building. I couldn't believe it! (You can see them working on it in the photo above.)
Here it is finished before the roof was installed. One of the students was drying their corn in the parking lot... it is so normal here to block roads to dry your corn. That made us laugh. Just another cultural difference, nothing wrong with that!
Jimmy welded the beams for the roof on the regular classrooms and then our missionary pilot friend, Paul helped engineer and build the beams on the large room (salón) on the end.
Now all the rooms have a roof and doors. All that's left are some bars on some windows and one room still doesn't have a floor. We use it for storage right now.
The students cut log planters out of the jungle and found these beautiful vines to replant in front of the posts.
Filling all the log planters was a lot of fun!
The students also cut some boards from the jungle for me to make signs for the doors.
I think these are super cute and rustic. We also bought some brass numbers for the doors... gettin' fancy!
I love it! It is so homey now and has a beautiful, charmingly rustic ambiance to it.
Jimmy made some lovely key chains to hang in the office, with my grandfather's wood burning tool. They correspond to the brass numbers. Now we aren't constantly looking for someone with a key.
Jimmy also ordered a time card machine that came down with his parents on their last trip. This is super helpful. It stopped some of the arguments between guys on who worked when and also I think Jimmy is getting more real quality work hours out of them since there is a more definite start and stop time with this.
We were laughing because the tallest person at the farm hung it on the wall and they didn't want any kids messing with it, but none of the rest of us could reach it without a stool! It has since been fixed.
Jimmy also asked the students to build some students mail boxes. This has saved some time as well.
We are getting so efficient, haha! Little by little this place is turning into a well oiled machine!
I will have to remember to take more pictures to show the other things that have been done to spruce up the place and help it run more efficient. It's a fun process, now that it isn't just flat out ugly anymore. The farm is really beautiful now! I'm so thankful!