Saturday, November 10, 2012

$10,000 and dreaming of turtles

Last summer there was some land for sale in my husband's village Sri Lanka and it was cheeeeeaap.  $10,000 for almost two acres, right on a lake.  We'd be crazy not to take it!  We'd have our very own space and not have to stay with the in laws when we visited.  Maybe we could even have hot water...that doesn't involve boiling kettles!  The first world possibilities were endless.  Then the fine print started rolling in...keep in mind English is Madu's second language and he kept mixing up the words "title" and "turtle."

Me: "$10,000 for two acres on lake! What's the catch, is it a crocodile hatchery?"

Madu: "Well, we don't have the proper turtle to the land, it's the turtle before the proper turtle."

Me: "Title, honey, title,"

Madu: "And, we can only actually build on one acre of the two, but if we plant coconut trees on the rest of it, the government can't take it.  We apply for the proper tur..title once we have a house and water and electricity.  And if we have coconut trees because it proves our family has lived there for a long time."

Hmm...sounds like the sketchiest coconut laden plan ever. Of course we bought it.

The Original Plan:

Build a simple one room structure on the land for the sole purpose to get water and electricity-- on our quest for the holy grail, the Proper Title from the Sri Lankan government.  One problem: we've already done that on another piece of land we have (don't worry, we have the proper turtle for that one) and it's a teeny step up from camping.  We have an acre of prime beachfront land on one of the most beautiful islands on earth and we never go there. 

This photo was from A Very CrackShack Christmas, circa 2010.

The architectural plan for the Crackarus Shackarus involved drawing lines in the sand with a stick.  It actually turned out pretty well considering!  However, I wanted something a little more livable.  Something with a kitchen that does not double as the front porch would be nice.

The New Plan:

Make as simple of a house as possible that is still comfortable.  Main point-- get water and electricity to the land and get that turtle!  Secondary...making a little home of our own in the village and get experience building a house in that part of the world for the day when we'll build our "real" beach house.

Up next, A $35 Architect and the Sri Lankan pony express.

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