WTH is Under the Kitchen Sink???

We were just living our day like we often do…kids watching videos or playing video games, Danaka writing something, Maret catering to Epic.  Gaelyn was chopping potatoes to make Mashed Garlic Potatoes for supper, and in trying to find the slow-cookers she looked under the kitchen sink not realizing that we don’t store stuff under there except a casserole dish that catches the drips from the old leaky drain.

I was working on the computer (as usual) when she calmly came to the office and quietly said, “Mom, can you come and look at something?”  I was expecting to find a middle-rotten potato, or at worst a worm of some sort.

But NO!

She pointed to the cabinet, door wide open.  My unadjusted eyes saw black mold covering the walls as I guiltily remembered that I had forgotten (hmmm, oxymoron?) to empty that pan recently.  But no, this was 3 dimensional.  Black mold isn’t 3D.

I looked closer, and my nose deciphered the presence of earth before my eyes and mind could compute!  There was a pile of dirt flowing from where the drainpipe disappeared into the wall!!

under sink

I stared for a moment, dumbfounded.  Why was there a pile of dirt collecting in my cupboard?

I went to the office where I found Tina & Maret making plans for some big projects here at the hotel (like a dog run, and jumps for agility!) Interrupting their plans, I told Tina we had a ‘problemo’ which took her by surprise.  She said we don’t usually have a problem….okay, so we don’t complain a lot, like, well, some others that have stayed here 🙂

I told her she really needed to come have a look, I’d rather not try and explain it to her.

She apprehensively approached the kitchen.  I gently pushed her ownwards, promising that nothing was going to jump out at her!!


She was amazed and baffled too.  She said she would have the guys come by around 3pm (this was noon) when they were finished their current project…but within 15 minutes she had Juan inspecting.  Right away he knew what it was.

Chancharras…..hormigas arrieras

Army Ants…..under my kitchen sink!!

Juan immediately got to cleaning out the mess, dumping out the mud (the casserole dish once filled with water was now full of thickest of all kinds of mud) piled high with fresh earth (where the heck was the earth coming from inside the cement walls????  He started ripping off the previously rotten wood at the back of the cupboard.  And then he whacked away at the plaster that was ready to fall off the wall.

As per this sort of job, the mess increases well before the end is in sight.

Juan and Tom converse about the plan

Juan and Tom converse about the plan

The decision is made to remove all but the cross board right under the counter, the cupboard doors and the sink/counter itself.  Tom gets a new drainpipe and taps while Juan continues to disassemble and clean up.

Well, most of it was cleaned up until he turned the water to the unit back on.  He unfortunately had forgotten to close off the water to the sink.  I tuned in to a distant gurgling from my office and went to check on it, discovering water mixing with earth and powdery plaster, flooding the kitchen floor and running behind our other cabinets.  Argh!

Juan got the bright white drainpipe put in and hooked up the new taps, shining and bright. Photo on 5-29-15 at 5.49 PM #2

There will be more work to be done dealing with the mold and sealing off the cement.  Somebody (Daniel?) will build a cabinet incorporating the salvageable doors.  And we’ll be set.  Maybe the cabinet will be nice enough and dry that we can actually use it for storage?

Sure thankful that Gaelyn was on kitchen duty today!!


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