Got an earth mover¿

The remarkable lack of progress on these two digs is so slow it is as if they were being dug by demitasse spoons. However, what is apparent since the crews brought concrete forms to the site, two weeks ago, is that the ¨pools¨ are being dug in soft layers of sand and utterly porous pumice.


Before I elaborate on the built envirnment, let´s talk nature. There are cute black and yellow stripèd butterflys and ¨reverse¨ lady bugs with black backs and red spots but we have just learned of some really wicked animals. It seems that when the weather warms up there will be black scorpions snoozing in my sneakers. Another local animal of note is a giant rat -about the size of a pitbull– that can be seen blithy trodding across the broken glass fence tops in search of living snacks.
old plant
Meanwhile, we continue to monitor the non-progress on the local sewage plants. The old one, that could benefit from demolition, was listing severly and finally dropped the remaining 2 feet onto the river bed. It´s blue arches are twisted and askew and it´s sides are attempting to be divorced from the crumbling cliff. This natural process is clearly the harbinger of the adjacent new plant´s probably short life.

Now, the new plant that is supposed to be able to process 40% of Panajachel´s waste, is about the size of two double and separate olympic pools. The remarkable lack of progress on these two digs is so slow it is as if they were being dug by demitasse spoons. However, what is apparent since the crews brought concrete forms to the site, two weeks ago, is that the ¨pools¨ are being dug in soft layers of sand and utterly porous pumice. Yesterday, the pools were filled with water and eroding way too fast to pour the concrete. And, if it were poured during the rainy season it certainly would not set up. This may solve the ¨mystery¨ of why this never ending public works project has not gone into service for going on six years.
dredging operations
More immediately, the bridge to my barrio was built with no protective footings or hydrodynamic barriers. So,when the big rain washed giant boulders downstream, they crashed into these unnecessarily exposed 4 foot in diameter posts and did real damage to two of the three holding up the span.

It seems though that after this problem on the bridge, suddenly earth movers appeared to dredge the river bed and pile sand around and in support of the posts. And, for one day, the earth movers were at work at the new plant… It looked like they were moving 2 foot rocks up the bank –maybe to pile into the decaying pits.
enfeebled footings
Also, my favorite tilting bodega, on the Jucanya side, has found itself on ¨dryland¨because the earthmovers have dredged a channel and piled temporary mountains infront of it. Today, as I passed through, men were piling chickenwire boxes (usually filled with rocks to make seawalls) into the empty building… Perhaps this is a safety measure?

Today, is Independence Day perhaps that means that the infernal drumming and glockenspeiling will abate…

Author: diane e. dreyfus

on the road until they put the lid down

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