With Jake offering to volunteer, we thought it would be a good time to build a bunk bed for the guest room, to have more sleeping space for mission team groups that come to Guatemala.
We downloaded a plan from the Internet and Jake fine-tuned the list of materials and off we went to town, less than one mile, to buy the materials.
It took us 2 1/2 hours to go to three stores to buy some screws, plywood and 2×4’s and 2×6’s. And then had to return to pick up the lumber when it was ready.
One store said that they had the bolts, but they weren’t what we needed. I said, “you told me that you had them. ” They said “Oh, yes we do have them, but we don’t have them today“. The ones we could use, they only had 9 of them. Same story for the wood screws. But they did have some paint we needed and a shower head ($1.38).
I asked for ” a bottle of thinner” to distinguish between the quarts they sell and the gallons. Not having any quarts in stock, the clerk went outside, returning in a few minutes with a plastic Pepsi bottle he had retrieved from the garbage and filled it with thinner from a one gallon can. Good service, actually! Hopefully nobody will take a sip from the “Pepsi” bottle.
They only had plywood and not planks or 2×4’s. A 2x4x8′ long is almost $4 each here.
The other place had screws, but not bolts in the size we needed, and no plywood. But on our last visit, they were the only ones to have the proper caulk for the leaking kitchen sink.
These stores are beside each other on the highway here in town. But this “pickup materials trip” took 2 1/2 hours. Then the wood place said they closed for lunch between 1 and 2 so to come back at 3 pm to pick up the lumber; when Anita and Jake went back at 3 pm they hadn’t yet started to cut it, but with them there, the workers quickly did the work. So by 3:45 pm, we had all the materials. Except, we still can’t find water-based clear sealant.
Here, at many businesses they absolutely totally close down for lunch, everyone takes lunch at the same time. When I suggest that it would be better if they would take turns taking lunch, so that not everyone is gone at the same time, they just don’t understand why that would be a good idea. But, I will say, fewer businesses close for lunch compared to 5 and 10 years ago here.
The other place had 2×4’s but not plywood or screws.
Makes me wish for Home Depot. In Mexico they do have Home Depot, and the woman at our hotel in Mexico was surprised that there were other Home Depots and that we had them in the USA.