Stumpted

Rain, rain, Rain. What’s a Panamanian to do when the ground is so wet that a backhoe would sink to its axles?

It is time to remove all the tree stumps from the lot. The obvious way for a Gringo to do this is to hire a backhoe for a day at $35 per hour. But the ground is supersaturated. A backhoe would enter there and disappear forever, maybe just a little speck of yellow sticking up out of the mud.

But all is not lost. Two or three men with shovels, pickaxes, pry bars, axes, rope, and machetes can do all the work of a backhoe. Heck, they could do it with the machetes alone! It will take three or four days, but they will get it done. It will cost me less than the backhoe, and the men will get a few days’ pay. Now on day two, they are about half done. In the photos below, Armando and Abdiel slog away, digging and hacking at the stumps, one by one.

I see all the stumps and am overwhelmed. Armando and Abdiel see only the stump they are working on at the moment.

It is easier to do this work during the rainy season. The axe and machete slice right through the super wet roots.

Turning their backs on the just removed stump in the foreground, the guys focus on the next one.

Using a heavy steel pry bar, Armando tests the resolve of the remaining roots.

Cynthia and Jabo are amazed at the progress. Jabo enjoys the people's eye view of the jobsite.

That’s all for now.

2 thoughts on “Stumpted

  1. Fred,

    Love your stories thanks for sharing.

    I do have a question though (well several you know me). How does one in Panama get a shipping container? How does one get a shipping container delivered? Do you get a used one in Panama near the canal? Are you going to do all the welding? Might make an interesting story?

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