Friday, October 16, 2009

The Pole Dancers

It's been scarcely a month since our house underwent the Glorious Rectification of Electrification Project. So it was with considerable astonishment the other day, that I saw a big truck parked in our street, laden with cable, parts and stout new concrete posts.
I knew I hadn't ordered any work.

Neither the trucks nor the uniforms of the somewhat boisterous crew bore the CFE (Comisíon Federal de Electrificacíon) logo. I concluded correctly that they must be contractors.

Using posthole diggers, they excavated new holes close to the previous posts. Next, the trucks placed the new, taller and stouter posts into the sockets. This was accomplished with a large mechanical claw I call "The Grabber". Delicate nuances of positioning were aided by muscle power, through the use of the rope slings. (These slings also are the pole climbing device used by the workmen.)

After the three poles were emplaced, the crew began the changeover of the power lines to to the new poles. This meant that we had to patiently wait a 2 to 3 hour period without power. (We have become proficient at this.) Later, the lines and posts were extended for hundreds of meters farther until they reached a farm gate. The final post has a large lamp above, to light the gate.

Although at first I'd had the impression that the crew was a bunch of uncouth laborers, I gained new respect for their skills as I watched them work. The job is not only a skilled one but a dangerous one. They gracefully climbed the poles, sometimes in pairs, and reset the lines.

Soon after they had restored the power to our house, they set about removing the old post from inside our yard. This was a very delicate maneuver to accomplish without damaging our house or our new electric line-in. It was done successfully and I could let my breath out again.

Later, we met the ranchero who was responsible for not only the gravel extension of our road uphill, beyond the pavement, but also the new electric lines and posts. He's planning to build a house up in what are presently fields. The view is superb from there. He mentioned putting in a sports field for the community, but we gently tried to dissuade him. (As if we have any influence in the matter.)

He also kidded us about developing a Colonia Americana. Maybe the money will run out before that.


Steve Cotton said...

I saw a similar operation in Manzanillo. A group of men were installing a new traffic signal over the main highway -- merely with what appeared to be their brute strength and ropes. I stopped to watch. The workers actually had incredible control over the pole. I was amazed.

Constantino said...

First reliable electric power with a ground and neutral, pretty soon you will have a controlled access with a security guard.....
I failed to notice the broken glass shards and bottles on the top of your fence.....

Felipe said...

Seeing progress in Mexico always raises my spirits.

Don Cuevas said...

Some of the shards were broken off during the work. We shall have to save up our empty wine and beer bottles.
Must. Drink. More.

(Tip: there's always a weak spot in home security around here. I'll explain in person, but not on the blog.)

Don Cuevas