Posted by: lianadevine | 21 August 2011

And Now the Fun Begins/Ahora comienza el trabajo…jajajaja!

The last week of June was a whirlwind of activity, packing up 3 years of accumulated bus-overflow, cleaning out our comfortable rut in order to vacate the Oaxaca Trailer Park which was set to close on June 30.  But this is Mexico, and though our promise to buy/sell contract stipulated a June 30 possession date, that didn’t happen.  Nor did the OTP really close – YET.

July 1:  Within an hour of arriving in Santa María Del Tule, Calvin had modified the gate, bonsai’d a few trees and smoothly piloted the bus into its temporary spot in our new yard, to the amazement of the vendors who I’m sure didn’t believe it would fit.

at Cal.Ma Rest & Repair

Our new digs

The unpacking and organizing went smoothly, but since we didn’t own the place outright, we spent the next 6 weeks spinning our wheels, figuratively.  We bought a weedeater to tackle the grass encouraged to grow by the daily rains.  We bought 500 hexagon pavers and put down a temporary patio to escape the mud also due to the daily rains.  We bought a mailbox, painted a big 2 on it (our lot number) and hung it on the front gate, bought a garbage pick-up permit and started getting up at 6:30 Sunday and Wednesday mornings to hand over the proper waste to the right truck, because, surprise! El Tule recycles!  We also discovered, to Spike’s delight, that we had a morning “ding-dong” that signalled breakfast time: the Palacio Municipal chimes Las Mañanitas at 6 a.m. daily and the Himno Nacional at 6 p.m. (Spike and Puma’s suppertime).

As we worked in our new yard, we made a point of saying buenos días to our new neighbours and introducing ourselves.  On daily walkabouts into the nearby shopping area, we discovered what supplies were available where and the locals discovered we weren’t just tourists dropping by to see the famous tree.  However skeptical about foreigners moving to li’l ol’ Tule, without exception we have been made to feel welcome, with bouquets of garden flowers, presents of baked goods and fruit, offers of help and invitations to visit coming from our new neighbours.

All three of our cats have transitioned nicely: Spike is allowed to ramble our fenced property at will, provided he has his collar on, which he asks for often!  Puma rarely leaves the bus – he knows where the gettin’ is good – but we are encouraging him to explore because once we are under the Big Top, his house will be outside the bus.  Gaby, our latest feral adoptee, spent almost 3 weeks in the men’s bathroom acclimatizing until we let her out.  We hoped that if we set her free and she came back, she was ours.  A nervewracking night passed before her hungry belly backtracked to ask for lunch.  Now she patrols the yard and keeps the gecko population in check.

Fast-forward to August 17, when we completed the deal to buy our new property: the Mexican owners arrived from NYC and we made an appointment at the notary’s office to sign the contract and pay the money.  In full.  Now it’s all ours!

Our New Home

Our New Home/Nuestra Nueva Casa

August 18, our architect/contractor Alex arrived to review our plans and map out the strategy for the reno/construction.  Just after he left, the owners and family arrived for a visit and to explain how the building had been constructed.  We learned the foundations were skookum enough to support a second floor, which had been their original plan. Calvin and I were really pleased to talk some more with the owners and their kids, to get to know them a bit better and share our plans to create our home from their restaurant.  We invited them to stop in anytime they’re back in Oaxaca to see how it all ends up.

August 19, Alex and his workers arrived to unload some of their equipment and break out the front wall – the first step of the process.  We’d need this space opened eventually to get the bus in under the roof, and having it open now would facilitate bringing in supplies – think “drive-in” – and provide access for the Thing to park under cover.






Hammer Time


Corta, Corta, Corta






Tomorrow, Monday August 22, the whole work crew arrives to begin in earnest.  Alex says it will take a month.  But this is Mexico…



  1. mucho animo amigos, tu casa esta quedando muy bonita hay invitas ala inaguracion y llevo las beers ok saludos….

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