Last week we had some heavy weather overnight, with rain and high winds. At one point my wife heard a huge crash. In the morning we discovered that a neighbor’s tree, next to the wall separating our properties, had toppled the wall. We soon discovered that the wall was not the only casualty. The impact had caused a mini earthquake which shattered a plumbing line, below.
We were scheduled to visit ruins to the south, near the border with Guatemala, and had already paid for the excursion. So we called in our masons and our plumber. The masons began immediately. The plumbing took a bit longer. The shattered plastic elbow was attended to by Dr of Vascular Surgery, Rolando. Although he had a backlog of cases, he showed up at precisely the right moment, a day after our return, as we had just run out of water in the tinaco up on the roof. (Translation: ¡seismo! no water anywhere in the house, due to that mini earthquake.) Fortunately, before we left, I had noticed that the water meter at the street was spinning wildly, so I had shut off the supply. Once he replaced the fractured joint, all was well again. And, get this – when I went to the public water utility, Japay, to pay our bill, they gave us a significant reduction in charge – more than half – due to the nature of the leak! And I didn’t even have to ask! What a lovely city to live in.We took the mason’s advice of deconstructing the wall all the way back to the vertical free-standing column, as the wall was weak. They are nearing completion of rebuilding it with added strength, tying vertical reinforcements into the foundation, which they restacked. It’s really much nicer. (The neighbor’s side of the yard is sadly being used as a mini landfill; it was seriously overgrown with weed trees and littered with trash. But they kindly allowed us to cut the trees, as long as there was no expense to them for repairing the wall.) We’re nearly back to normal. Soon they will install vertical pipes upon which we will stretch arbor wire for trellising some vegetation, for restoring the privacy lost when the trees were cut down. Most earthquakes take longer in recovery, I suspect.