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Saturday, August 16, 2014


Solymar is a residential neighborhood belonging to the "ciudad de la costa" since 1994. This neighborhood and the "city of the coast" is one of the balnearia/beach towns along the strip of coast called the "Gold Coast" or  in Spanish called the "Costa de Oro". It literarily means Sun (Sol) and (Y) sea (mar). It's about a 35 to 40 min. bus ride (depending on traffic) away from my town. The main section of highway that fronts the town is chock full of enterprises.

It has a Disco supermarket, a Multi ahorro supermarket (which means multi savings) and everything else you might need.

At night snack trucks come out and sell fresh made garrapiƱadas, churros and my favorite new mobile truck stand, a "Fried fish and chips" (french fries) place.

That's Jessica on the left with Juan the cook and owner. They have the best deal in town or over several towns regarding their french fries (papas fritas). A generous sized portion only costs 60 pesos.

Most other places are charging 100 pesos, $3 dollars versus $5. In Uruguay food is NOT cheap.  A fried piece of fish, fried to your "color preference" is served with a lemon wedge and costs $38 pesos.

I always order 2 pieces and I've always gotten a 3rd piece thrown in for free because they try and serve large pieces and will compensate for 2 smaller ones.

I've been down to Solymar almost everyday now because I have several small house cleaning jobs down there. They pay for all the dog and cat food, plus cat litter box grit, that I need to supply for my 3 dogs and 2 cats. They also contribute to some pocket money for me. Of course, the down side is that now my own house is filthy. After cleaning 8 hours a day in other peoples' houses, the idea of coming home to do more cleaning in my own house and not getting paid for it, is just too tiring to consider. In a month or so I'll drop most of the jobs and just keep 2 ladies. That will be enough for the pet food and supply money with a "tiny" extra besides. When the ladies that I work for said, that they would recommend me to a "ALL" their friends after their regular cleaning lady comes back from vacation, I said, "please don't, I'm exhausted" (Estoy agostada).

Because I'm down in Solymar so much, I decided to bring my camera down with me to document a grand public works project that the water company, OSE is carrying out. OSE stands for Obras Sanitarios del Estado (Sanitary Works of the State). This project will accomplish several needed services for the city of Solymar. Solymar has suffered flooding on several occasions after no more than a very heavy rain. One of the ladies that I clean for, had to throw out her large area rug after water poured into her house under her door. She has no front stoop. The drainage ditches alongside of the streets quickly fill up with water then they overflow, turning the neighborhood dirt roads, into mini lakes.

So water drainage is being addressed. Also, It seems that everyone is getting new sewage lines. Most people have bidets next to their toilets and they don't use a lot of toilet paper to wipe their "hinnies" with, not like us North Americans do. So I have seen a lot of "ugh", used tissues thrown into the trash bucket next to the toilet. People here are reluctant to flush their paper down the toilet. Everyone has a septic tank that they apparently don't want to fill up with paper. The paper here is so thin that it seems to totally de-solve right away but still the habit persists.

I started taking pictures of the project, when I noticed how deep down into the ground the workers and machines were digging.

These giant u shaped cement pieces, shown in the 3rd photo above, are to be buried completely underground, they will have tops added on top of them once in place, then more sewer lines and other stuff goes above them.

 So the newly dug underground canal is deep.

The cement canal pieces were lined up along the street and became our pedestrians routes until each one was taken up by a giant crane and placed into the newly dug pit.

I'm about 5 foot, 5 1/2 inches tall, so I'm guessing that these are about 4 feet tall?

To show how deep down they were buried, here are some photos of the workers standing down in the pit with them.

Huge steel plates were used as walls to keep the excavation from caving in on itself, the crane would then pound these in deeper with a deafening sound, over and over again. I wondered how the steel plates could take such a beating.

I don't know how high up, they will have to build the street to bury these sewer connections and hoses or if there will be some very tall sidewalks poured in place to cover them over but it seems to me that these lines are too close to the surface. I can't imagine cars and trucks rolling over these without damaging them. For now, I will just keep an eye on the developing project.

The street that this is being done to is aptly named Uruguay, a few side streets are also benefiting. The work is taking place on the North side of the ruta or main highway, called the Interbalnearia. The project is headed up the street to the next main route. I asked some workers when the project was due to be completed, they said in November of this year then just started laughing! We all know, it will take much longer to complete. It was supposed to be a 2 year project ending this year. The cost? I'm not sure but it's in the millions of dollars (USA). The water company OSE had to not only hire the workers but also had to rent the large machinery from other sources. So it's a costly expense.

Maybe, in the future when it rains, Solymar won't get inundated with flood water. Also, who knows maybe they will, "live a little" and flush away all those nasty used pieces of toilet paper. If I continue cleaning houses I can only hope so!!!