Friday, August 11, 2017

He's got skills

We experienced some weather again this week, much the same as before, but not as much as we thought we might.

Tropical storm Franklin came through the Yucatan and dropped lots of water on us. The rains were heavy at times, but luckily flooding was kept to a minimum. In other parts of Mexico they were not that lucky. Campeche was hit with extreme flooding, but it wasn't until it moved across the Gulf of Mexico and hit Veracruz that it was upgraded to a hurricane. Mudslides in the mountainous region of Mexico is a serious concern and with an expected foot of rain in those areas, it was a given. This is the first hurricane of the 2017 season and I was relieved that we did not have to tape windows and evacuate. In our drive through Mexico on our way here, it was clear that they experience a lot of storms. All the towns we drove through had evacuation routes clearly marked.

Herman studied architecture when I met him, and after I worked to help him finish his studies, he started out his career in the architectural division of the Public Works Department.  He loved his work there, which included renovation, additions, maintenance and modernization of historical buildings. However his real talent is in design. As a private designer, he had just completed two high end house design projects in Port Elizabeth. This house was later purchased by a Miami investor.

However, when we moved to Canada it soon became evident that being from another country working in that field would not be financially viable to support a young family and he went back to school to start his career in IT. I know that this was a difficult choice for him, especially since he really did not like computers. However, he did what needed to be done. (All immigrants have this in common: do what needs to be done to get 'er done!)

One of the reasons we selected living in Mexico is that the construction here is very similar to that in South Africa. The weather plays a big role in the technology you use in housing and Herman's knowledge is compatible. It is a country that supports the entrepreneurial spirit in any way it can and does not set up barriers by unnecessary bureaucracy. Having said that, they are extremely strict on paying workers insurance as a full time employer.

Since we started thinking about what we want to do here, Herman's interest in designing again was peaked and having been the shoobee-do-wa girl in the background, I have noticed the happiness this brings him. It is amazing to see someone do something they love and then sad to realize how long a person has been unhappy just going through the motions. Honestly, there is no other career that he should have ever considered. Here are a few of the things he has been working on:

A lot of properties in Mérida are historical buildings that are hardly more than rubble behind the exterior walls. Herman took one of these properties and designed what it could potentially look like. This way an interested buyer can envision the potential of  the property.

The second concept is for a property in the forests between Cancun and Tulum for an eco-hostel that would be welcoming the budget traveller and backpackers.

Lastly I am including the initial sketches of what he's planning for our property (not to scale of course).

I hope you enjoyed his creativity with me.