Monday, March 19, 2012

Whoa! Didn't know you could do that!

Ugandans are incredibly resourceful. They are amazing at reusing, jerry-rigging, and generally making do. I'm guessing this stems in part from a lack of cash flow. Our house help, Oliver (female), for example, started showing the kids how to make a rope of banana leaves last week, which she intends to make into a jump rope. C. is excited, because Oliver says she can also make a ball and a doll!

Corinne told me, "I'm going to be like a Ugandan, Mom! I'm going to make an airplane out of things I find in our yard!" A friend later told us that she saw some Ugandan kids make a toy airplane propeller out of a leaf stuck on a thorn.

This morning as I was cutting up pineapple for breakfast, I was pleasantly surprised to see how this is rubbing off on our family. We'd popped the top off of the pineapple. If you have a pineapple that's been harvested in the last few days, pop off the top and you'll see roots underneath: You can plant it in your yard (well, a yard here) and you'll grow a pineapple bush. So then, I'm boiling the pineapple rind, to which my friend told me you can add a little sugar if you want (optional: four tea bags and some fresh ginger) and have your own juice. Then, we compost the rinds. And of course we devour the middle.

So I'm doing a little jerry-rigging of my own. The hand weights I needed for working out turned out to be pretty pricey here. So W. dutifully filled up a water bottle and a Coke bottle with sand, which I then topped off with water. True, they're not quite as heavy as my five pound weights were. But I think they will play their role in de-floppifying my arms.

We've got a lot to learn from these people.

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