Monday, June 12, 2006

Drains, Rains

It has been a long time since we posted, so we wanted to give everyone a little update on what has been going on with us lately.

A tropical depression developed near Jamaica from about June 4-7. It caused some rain, but nothing heavy enough to cause problems. It mainly meant getting wet and not being able to dry clothes. The power also went out at our office a few times due to the rains. The last week, though, the power at our office has not been functioning even though it has stopped raining. It is due to faulty wiring, and the contractors have not been able to correct the problem yet. It should be fixed soon, and then we can get back to work.

We had been having drain problems since May. At first, the water would take a few minutes extra to go down the drain after you showered. Then, it started pooling around your foot as you bathed, which isn't very pleasant. Finally, it would not drain at all. Why, you ask, did we not get this fixed sooner? The main reason is that we wanted to wait for a our landlady to get back into Jamaica, so we could ask her about it and see if she could reccommend a plumber. In the meantime, we did try using drano and a long piece of wire to try to remove the obstruction, but neither of these worked.

We got a hold of the plumber, and his solution was to dig up our bathroom floor, remove the blocked pipe, and replace that section. I did get to learn about how Jamaican floors are constructed and deconstructed while observing this process. He first removed one tile using a chisel and hammer. There is tinset surrounding the tile and underneath it to hold it in place. Below the tinset is concrete, and the two are about 4 inches thick combined. Then, there is just loose rock and soil and various stuff for about 8 inches underneath the concrete through which all the pipes run. So, he takes all of this dirt and stuff out of the hole in the floor. Unfortunately, no pipe. He tries another one with the same result. I tell him that there are only three good tiles to use as replacements. Finally the third one is paydirt. Instead of removing the pipe, he just knocks it, and this dislodges the "choke" in the pipe. Let's hope this process does not have to be repeated.

-Shane and Kaelyn

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