Cleaning Up Aldama | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Cleaning Up Aldama

Earlier this month I wrote about the incredible disruption in front of my house as Planet Engineering dug up the street to run conduit for underground utilities. All of that work is done now. The huge crews and the backhoes and trucks are gone. Aldama has been reopened to traffic. Life is getting back to normal. Almost.

All that digging brought up a lot of subsoil which, with the unfortunate coincidence of some unseasonable rain, created adobe that sticks tenaciously to the cobblestones. Passing automobiles raise clouds of fine dust which blankets everything in our house, and irritates our lungs.

Planet Engineering, however, is on the job, working to remove the caked mud and dust.


The Adobe Removal Department.

They have deployed this elderly man, a pickaxe, a shovel, a broom and a wheelbarrow. The man taps between the cobblestones with his pickaxe, gently loosening the adobe, which he then sweeps into a pile and shovels into his wheelbarrow. He carefully clears a section about ten by ten feet every day. I figure he'll finish our block by April.

This is a task that a street sweeping machine could polish off in about twenty minutes. But alas, San Miguel does not own a street sweeper, and apparently neither does Planet Engineering.

Clearly, I'm still caught up in my Norteamericano hurry-up mentality. I mean, the street is gonna be cleaned up eventually. What is my problem? The dirt is going away, and this nice old man has a steady job. Everybody should be happy.

I really am developing a more relaxed attitude. Every morning I go out and the first person I see is our street cleaner, patiently tapping away. And I think to myself: You know—everything is just the way it's supposed to be.