thumbs-up-popppingP o p p i n g

New Public Works Projects

Now that the election is over, it is time for successful candidates to fulfill those campaign promises. More than anything that means lots of proposals for public works projects. New projects big and small are on the list of aspirants. Nationally among the projects on top of the list is rebuilding highways, with the incoming government estimating that nearly 80% of major roads are in need of repair. Locally, improved drainage systems are high priority in attempt to reduce rainy season flooding.

thumbs-down-floppingF lo p p i n g

Finishing Existing Projects

First, they said it would be done in the spring; next the early summer was the target; finally it was assured that it would be completely done before the September elections. Well, here we are in December and it certainly isn’t finished yet. Where can you find this monument to incompleteness? On Avenida Americas near Walmart, where the construction of a vehicular underpass is still awaiting completion. Designed to replace a roundabout that had caused traffic backups, thus far the effect of the solution has been to cause more traffic than the problem it is supposedly fixing. And rumor has it that with the elections now over, the construction work force has been even further reduced. Perhaps we can hope for some time in 2012?


Amidst all these new and unfinished projects, the Xela 21K stands out as a symbol of organizational success. It started on time, roads were closed, kilometers were marked, and water stations were open (all this in contrast to the experience Elena Alvarado recounted in her marathon story last month). All that and real runners crossing the finish line: the race was won by a Kenyan at a pace only 5 minutes off the world record, not bad for a hilly course at 8,000 feet.

The only glitch was at the awards ceremony where it took 3 tries to actually get the winners onto the podium. But hey, that’s after the race was technically complete; and anyway the third try is still really pretty good (for comparison see Flopping on above).

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