Friday, October 14, 2011

Annus mirabilis

That's Latin for "a miraculous year", such as 1905 when Einstein published his theory of relativity. About an hour ago a San Miguel municipal official in a pickup stopped by to deliver news not as earthshaking as E=mc2, but astonishing nonetheless.

The road connecting the ranch to San Miguel, never a main thoroughfare even in the best of times, had developed crater-size potholes, some three or four meters across and 20+ centimeters deep. So in a burst of civic optimism I took pictures of one of the potholes and attached it to a letter to the mayor, asking her to have the road fixed.

I mentioned my initiative to Félix the gardener and Rocío, a woman who comes to clean our house twice a week and they both had a hearty giggle at my naivete. Either there's no money to fix the road or if there was, someone probably stole it, they agreed.

Letter and photo in hand I went to City Hall early this week and was not encouraged. The place was a cacophony of citizens petitioning city officials and other functionaries for something.

Leaving my petition felt like tossing a wine bottle in the Pacific Ocean with an SOS note inside hoping it would reach New Zealand.

That was two days ago and this morning--zowie!--a hand-delivered written response from City Hall.

Alright, alright, the road hasn't been fixed yet. If that happens 2011 may become a magnum annus mirabilis, if there is such a thing. Albert would be jealous.



  1. Did it have an official seal? I have come to the conclusion that governmental responses without seals are -- well, sealless.

  2. Signed, sealed and delivered. Whether anything happens, we'll have to wait and see.

  3. Maybe Jorge Castaneda, in his newly-discovered civic action mode, will come fix it for you. He could fill it with words.

  4. I commend you! I did something similar about 6 years ago when there was a huge ditch near the kindergarten. I watched in fear of a toddler falling in so I photographed it and sent it to the intl relations dept of the city. Two days later the ditch was filled. I just grinned with happiness ad the city's quick response. hope you have a similar result.

  5. Just yesterday there were some official-looking types looking at the potholes, as if they were "studying" the problem. We'll see.