New Driveway – Part One

Everytime it was getting more difficult for Norbert to drive the car up to the street on the old driveway. What had once been a concrete driveway, was in crumbles by now. Especially after it had been raining, we were afraid to get stuck with the car.

This picture was taken at an other occasion in early January. But one can get an idea of the condition of our driveway.

End of February we had already talked to Javier, a guy who was working on constructing the neighbouring building. He agreed to renew the driveway and gave us a cost estimate. We agreed. The material was ordered and delivered. The work should begin in the last week of March.

They delivered a huge bundle of wire mesh and iron rods, which we stored in our back yard, a ton of cement and one mountain each of sand and gravel in front of the fence.

The quarantine put a tremendeous delay to this project. The middle of May, the work could finally begin.

¡¡¡FINALLY!!! Javier can start with the project.

For the chickens these construction works turned out to be a disaster. Lively and curious as they are, the first day the gate was open for the construction work, they just went off to explore the neighbourhood. We caught them on the other side of the street. We then put a barrier of some mesh material between driveway and garden. It worked okay for the first day.

The next morning we had strong wind, which tore off one side and apparently lifted the mesh material enough for the chickens to get through – and off they went! I caught them on the neighbouring property. We ended up locking them into their corral.
Compared to the place they came from, their accommodation with us is pure luxury.

This is the place where we picked them up.
This is their place here with us. In fact, they have 2 houses, much more space, an own sandbox, fresh water and 2 trays with (different types) of chicken feed.

They screamed for hours as if someone were abusing them. Our neighbour (two houses down the road) thought they were screaming like this because of some snake or raptor.

The wind had eased the next day. I strengthened the attachment of the net and weighed it down with an old wooden board and stones. I let them free again – and they were super, super happy.

Javier, the guy who is renewing our driveway, lives with his family in another town about 20 km away. Since Wednesday he had an official permission to come to Síquiman to work. He decided to stay with a neighbouring friend for the entire weekend, so he would finish the work on our driveway by Monday.

Saturday afternoon, however, two women from the community administration (public order office) ordered an immediate stop to the work. They argued, that Javier’s permission was only valid for new constructions and not for what they called modernisation. On top of that, they said, that the community administration only allowed local construction workers and that Javier’s permission (as he is not a resident of Síquiman), was not valid here.
The discussion went on for an hour – without success. They even called the police.
They argued on basis of some “PROTOCOLO DE HABILITACIÓN DE OBRAS PRIVADAS”, some bureaucratic monster which, to us, doesn’t make any sense.

Page 2 out of 3

Monday morning we went to the community administration to ask for permission to finish the work. The people there were friendly, but could not make a decision. They printed the letter we wrote and the pictures we took of the driveway.
They said, that an official decision would be made within a week. Well, we’ll see.

Two weeks have passed, since we had been to the administration. Nothing has happened. We have not received a letter nor an email nor a phone call. Javier’s attempts to contact someone at the community office were fruitless.
Monday we will go there again in person.


2 Replies to “New Driveway – Part One”

  1. Thats one reason why such states have failed. Where is part 2? Did you finish roadwork by yourselve?

    1. We’re still waiting 🙁
      But you can also find this sort of bureaucracy in Germany. Norbert’s brother, who after suffering a stroke some years ago, is now handicapped, wanted to see his mother, who lives in a senior residence, which only allows one visitor at a time. But he is simply not able to go there by himself. For weeks his wife had to fight the bureaucracy to get permission to accompany him.
      What matters more: finishing to pave a driveway or getting to see ones 92 years old mother?

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