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Mowing by Hand: Guide to Rainy Season Gardening

We bought our property and, what felt like almost immediately, had to leave to get back to Tahoe. While we were away we had to hire a gardener. We did not get the chance to line this up before we left. We tried...but no dice. Alas, we were at the mercy of our caretaker-friend lining it up for us. Oh Cristiane, bless her heart. She is a sweetheart but caretaking, negotiating, getting shit done...not her strong suit. We knew we were getting gringo-taxed on the gardening the entire time we were gone. Once back we hired the same gardener but kept our eyes on “them” the entire time. The gardner was ripping us off so hard he even hired out the work to someone else. A very slow working, non-enthusiastic young kid. It took a painstakingly 7 hours for what could have been done in 2. He then tried to charge us 50 mil. 50,000/ 570 USD exchange rate = $88 $88/ 7 hours = $12.50 per hour Going rate for gardener with machine plus fuel = $8 We got the price fixed to the appropriate rate for the 7 hours. Still the job can be done in 2 hours. If it were 20 bucks to get the garden weed whipped we’d be all over it. But $50-$60?? We don’t even hire out snow removal in Tahoe. Why are hiring out weed whipping? So we head to town to buy all the things...a face screen, boots, jeans for Bruno, extra line, fuel, oil, harness. We got him dialed. Get home, fuel her up and motor is seized. Crap. Somebody tried to use it while we were gone. They didn’t clean it up properly, it was all rusted and who knows what they did to the motor.

Back to town we go. We go straight to the hardware store to ask who in town might be able to fix a weed whipper. Low and behold there is a guy...weed whipper is at the shop. Meanwhile back at the property Bruno is still complaining about the tall grass. At this point I’m done hearing about it so I decide to take matters into my own hands. Literally.

Need a gardener for your property?

Don't pay more than 3,000 colones without machine or 5,000 colones with the machine per hour. Do watch your guy...see how long it takes them. Do give them a list of duties (our guy didn't bother to rake leaves or prune dead branches). And, if you are a go-getter, invest in your own gear.

We are still waiting to hear the fate of our machine but fingers crossed it's salvageable.

#stihl #rainyseason #greenseason #costaricaproperty #expatliving #expatsinCR

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