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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

 

TENNIS COURT FUNDRAISING AND CONSTRUCTION

AUGUST 2000

CHAPALA, MEXICO

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

"If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane!"

Well folks we did it. We raised $26,000 US out of the $30,000 US needed for the construction of two tennis courts. Construction begins Monday, and hopefully should be completed in six weeks. It was touch and go there for a while, as the current administration is finished at the end of this year, and once they found out how much money we had raised, they tried their best to influence us to build different types of sporting facilities, other than tennis courts.

JUST GETTING STARTED

After a series of meetings, petitions signed, and just plain begging, we had one last chance at getting approval to build the courts. We were invited to make a presentation to the entire “committee” which consists of 11 people representing the three political parties in the area. I am not political, especially here in Mexico, and not confident about this meeting, but it was our only shot at this point.

So here we go, Sandra, Ruben and I up into the President’s office facing the 11 member council. I felt like we were about to get voted off the island. We needed to convince 6 of them, in order to get the courts. They were sitting there with faceless expressions, as fresh fruit and juices were being served. This was not a jury of “my” peers.

MOVING ALONG

Now you have to understand, I learned my Spanish at the tennis courts and local cantinas, so I sometimes lack the correct grammar to say the least, so it was decided, that Sandra should make the presentation. She went on discussing how the community has grown, and the need for children’s programs and tournaments, often being questioned about the need for other types of facilities. She continued to stay on point. Knowing that we need just six, I pan the room for clues about who might be with us. Their faces gave nothing away. One guy who was pounding her about the need for a “futbol rapido” court, I figured was a lost cause. Once we left, I asked Reuben who he was, and he told me “oh, he’s the Vice President, you know, the one who owns the local beer distributor, and he’s with us all the way” . Boy, I felt relieved!

 

 

We waited for 24 hours to get their results, and they approved us, so now the “work” begins.

"It's a little like religion, and a lot like sex, you never know what's gonna happen next"

The first week of construction was fairly uneventful. Other than the backhoe driver coming within a full one eighth of an inch of meeting his Maker, and the discovery of an old septic tank, things went along smoothly. That is until the city once again wanted us to give them the money, so that they could “be sure” the contractor was being paid. Trees are “sacred” here in Mexico, and part of this project was, that we transplant some of the smaller trees that were in the new court area. We decided it would look nice to line the access road to the park with the trees, making a tree lined road. The backhoe driver was digging holes along the road, for the transplanted trees, when all of a sudden, he clips a 220 Volt electrical line. About that time a transformer blew, and the guys from the pool came running to see what happened to their power. It would have been nice had someone told us it was buried there, but as is the case so many times in Mexico, it was a secret!

 

Dodging a major catastrophe, holding our breath, hoping there would be no other surprises, is when the backhoe driver hit the lid on an old septic tank. Now holding our breath was not an option! It took a full twelve seconds to make the decision to fill it and cover it.

READY FOR ASPHALT

Although I have not seen that backhoe driver since, I am told that he is well, and resting comfortably.

You must understand, Mexico loves bureaucracy. Our treasurer, Sandra, went to the city to find out exactly how they wanted receipts of payments and bills to be made out. It is there that she is told, we are to turn over our funds

to them, so they can be certain that all work and payments are correct. Sandra, being quite a strong willed woman, wanted to know why this was not brought up in the committee meeting, if that is in fact what they wanted us to do. We know that once they have the funds, it’s “goodbye Charlie" for that dinero. Sandra once again held on, and the next day, we emptied the account.

Despite these challenges, we are moving a long a little ahead of schedule, and hopefully by this time next week, the asphalt will be installed.

"It was either too much Tequila, or not quite enough"

Here we are at the end of the second week and guess what, no asphalt! This time last week, we were ahead of schedule, and now it seems we are behind. So, unless you like to watch paint dry, not as much was accomplished this week, as I would have hoped. This is why Mexico is called the Land of Mananas.

They did build the hitting wall, plus the engineer was out, not once, but twice measuring the slope and drainage. They marked spikes all over the place, and moved gravel to some and away from others. They used the compacting roller machine a couple of times, and now it’s looking like a huge parking lot. Next, installation of the “curbs” begin, and I am guessing that asphalt will be put down next week................

STILL READY FOR ASPHALT!

Well, next week came and went, and still no asphalt! They did install the curbs, more gravel and more compacting, plus cleaned up the area. It is really starting to look nice, for a “parking lot”! The engineer was out again today, I think trying to figure out how to stretch this out another week or so. Later in the day, some heavy asphalt equipment arrived, but I was assured that they would not start until Monday. Apparently, the plant in Guadalajara has had a run on “mezcla” and is out for the week. This is the stuff they make asphalt out of. Who would have guessed, that EVERYBODY is paving right now, so there is none left. Had I only known, I could have ordered earlier....yeah right!

"It's a Semi True Story....Believe it or not"

The good news is that finally, on Tuesday, they started laying the asphalt, but as luck would have it, on their “third run”, their machine broke down. I was happy that they showed up at all, so the machine seemed like a small problem to over come. Actually it was, all they had to do was get another one from Guadalajara! Right? This took most of the day, but by 8:00pm, they were finishing up a long day. A couple of days later the fence guys appeared, and have started digging the foundations for all of the fencing. In the meanwhile, we purchased net posts, and have had score markers welded to them. (Plus a ton of little things accomplished, that no one will ever notice.) Now, if I could only find that engineer to tell me where to put the posts.

ASPHALT!!!

I did find him, and he not only told me where to put those net posts, but made sure that they will stay there, with lots of cement.

After a restless night, I awoke and wanted to make sure that the net posts are exactly in the correct spot. So I measured them. “Measure twice, cut /dig once”, I think Al Gore said that, or was it Lorena Bobbit ???? Anyway, I made some slight changes and the workers started digging. About this time, I tell the workers that we still have to place the “center strap anchor” in the center, and it to has to be cemented in place. Understand, that I am dealing in meters, and post to post is 12 meters, 74 centimeters, so I ask the three workers what the center would be. After some very confused looks, one of them had the right answer. The other two were so impressed, that now, he’s the boss!

LOOKING GOOD.....

"No Plane on Sunday....Maybe be one come Monday"

What little hair I had left, is now gone! It has been 17 days since the asphalt has been installed, and only one coat of sealer has been applied. Things were moving right along, for about two days, then the work became very spotty. I have called the contractor, set up meetings where he did not show, called again, set up more meetings, and been assured that all was well. We are now into the seventh week of a five week project, and I am suppose to fly out next week!!!!

MOVE THESE?!!!

A few days ago, I went to the park in the afternoon to check on the progress, something I do regularly, when the engineer calls me over to the site. He tells me that the “net posts”, (remember them?), need to be moved about one half of a meter. These posts are sitting in three square feet of hardened concrete that he positioned, and now he wants to dig them out and move them! That means tearing up the fresh asphalt, and base, and creating a total mess. Not to mention, delaying the project another week. I ask why, and he proceeds to tell me that they are not square to the street. What the street has to do with it is beyond me, but he was steadfast about it being square with it. I inquire as to why it has taken him seven weeks to discover this “small problema,” to which he states that it’s the fault of the street. Of course! Why didn’t I see that? I discuss this dilemma with the painter, who’s one brushstroke short of a full paint can, and go over all of the dimensions. We come up with a solution, which doesn’t make this over educated engineer all too happy. It turns out that the courts are perfect rectangles and the posts are square within them, as they should be, and no movement was necessary. After finally meeting with the contractor, I was assured that the courts would be ready on Saturday, then Monday, and now Tuesday. Silly me, I forgot to ask which week!

No plane on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, as we changed our departure date for the third time.

"I used to be the toast of the town...Now, I'm just toast!"

 

Finishing up week eight of this five or six week project, and now I am waiting for fencing. Remember the contractor assured me that they would be finished last week, that was until some problem with the fence factory in Guadalajara was delaying the finish. And I’ve got a bridge to sell you.........

HITTING WALL

Last week, I was able to convince the city to give me three truck loads of gravel so that I could straighten the road. You know the one that isn’t square with the courts. I figured it was easier and cheaper to move that road, than it was to change the courts. Of course, it’s one of these “manana things” and I wait and wait.

Then I get a call from the contractor who tells me that the gravel is on its way, and he has a backhoe and worker there for me to spread it. Back to the courts I go, and sure enough, there’s the backhoe and worker. Most of these Mexican guys are hard workers, but it turns out that I have the exception. Knowing that this is my last chance with the use of the machine, I direct it constantly, while the worker leans on the rake. As this was his only tool, I guess he thought he was putting it to good use. In between the loads of gravel, I have the backhoe cleaning up rocks and trash, and bringing back fill dirt for landscaping. If I could only use that rake to spread some of this dirt, but was afraid that the guy would fall down if I pulled on it, so I watch. Finally, the worker had a brilliant idea, and said that he was going to go get something to eat. That was my chance, so now I am manning the rake, while the backhoe is delivering dirt, working on the road, and cleaning up the job site.

A few days later, we are having a “Fiesta de Traje” ( Mexican Potluck) with about 60 people attending. These are fun tennis parties with a ton of food, drink, tennis, and karaoke, starting around 8:00 am and finishing into the night. Actually, the date was timed, “perfectly” so as we could take advantage of the new courts, sort of a grand opening party, but as you know, “manana” means tomorrow or never, and they weren't ready.

ALMOST READY NOW

People are playing tennis, the music is loud, and who shows up, the contractor. Knowing he was looking for a check, I take one last swig of my Dos Equis, and walk with him to discuss business. One of the many things we went over was the quality of this particular worker he sent me. After some tough negotiations, he knocked off some “dinero” from his bill, and we both went away satisfied.

On Saturday, October 28th, at exactly 11:47 am, the fence people had put up just enough fence to be able to play on the court. It was there that I beat Fernando, whom I rarely beat, 6-4 in the first set played on them. Que barbaro! They’re finished, and so am I!

TENNIS ANYONE?

Again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, on behalf of the people and players in Chapala, for your generous donations and support. Without them, this project would have been impossible. This is another example of what private enterprise can accomplish, once government gets out of the way. No Mexicans, and not many “Gringos” can believe, that I was able to get this done in this amount of time, or at all. I tell them, “it’s just a miracle”.

Billy

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Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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