Road Work

There’s an open gutter along the outside edge of our ‘yard’ (scare quotes because our yard is 100% concrete, with two small flower beds), and it runs along the fence and then under the gate and directly into the open ditch that runs along the side of the road.

When we moved in the ditch was open on both sides of the road, with period breaks in front of people’s gates or drive ways, where just that much might be paved or a dirt mount over a concrete tile/pipe- but most of the ditches were dirt.  Ours was actually concrete part of the way, paved, but open, maybe a foot deep and 8 inches wide.  We have a patch of paved walk between our house and the next gate, which is part of the same compound, a warren of shared gates and walkways all owned by the same landlord.  But on the other side, it’s an empty lot and then a sari sari store.  It’s really hard to explain all this, you know?

So this is what it looked like if we stood at the gate and looked to the left:


But across the street it’s nearly all just open ditch.

So anyway, there are open ditches on each side of the road, mainly for storm drainage, but if you wash your car or water your grass 9some people have a yard with a garden), it goes down the same open ditch.  Some of them are concreted in parts, most are dirt, all of them had to be cleared of weeds and mud periodically, and the property owner or tenant was responsible for that.  The rains are torrential, keeping the ditches open prevents the roads and houses from flooding.

All this is now past tense, or in the process of becoming mostly so.  We’ve had road construction going on for weeks.  Here’s what it looked like if we stepped out and looked to the right:

Here’s the view to the left:


And here is a not very clear picture of the front of the house and a bit to the right:

Here’s what it looked like from the front- an impossible expanse directly across the end of our drive, with two boards (other households got only one. We received two because we have a handicapped child and I am none too steady on my feet either):

The neighborhood kids scampered across like goats. Very surefooted little goats. They even clambered on the two narrow boards, or rather, sticks, used to make a level.

Our child could not do the two boards at all. So we stayed home unless my husband was home, in which case, he carried her across.


A post shared by wendi capehart (@wendiwanders) on

The construction workers who guided the bulldozer wore flip flops or were barefoot. They worked on guiding in the concrete pipes bare fingered, and they rolled the massive pipes over to the bulldozer, hammered a notch in one end, ran a rope loop through, and then hooked it on to the bulldozer teeth. I could have watched for hours.

During the time we had only boards to cross the ditch, taxi drivers *always* unloaded any bags I had and carried them across the ditch for me. Neighbors sometimes came over to offer a hand with my daughter even after the boards were removed, because for a while we had a huge uneven pile of dirt to climb over, about 3 feet high in places.

I think it only took about 3 weeks before we had our path across the road paved again. The ditches on either side are still open ditches, now about 2-3 feet deep and closer to 18 inches across. It’s possible that when both sides of the road are done there are plans to put covers over the top.

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