I chuckled to myself as I watch this man stand on a ladder hacking away at a mango tree with a meat cleaver, but then I started to think about the many things I see (and do) each day that I wouldn't in the States because we have more "sophisticated" tools to accomplish certain tasks. I was thinking the other day that I have no desire to ever own a microwave again. Go ahead, let your jaw drop. But, I haven't used a microwave for months, and I don't miss it, and I think I am better for it. I have learned how to do so many things since coming here, everything from making my own cream soup base to making great homemade tortillas and pita bread. When I want any kind of beans, I have to think ahead of time so they can soak overnight and then I have to have enough time to cook them. (By the way, did you know that pinto beans take almost 3 hours to cook?!?!) I am working on perfecting the art of carrying anything and everything on a motorbike. This week I successfully carried a box with a birthday cake, but in the past I have balanced multiple bags of produce, packages from the post office, iced coffees hanging from my handlebars, etc.
I think when given the opportunity, people can be incredibly resourceful and imaginative, but I think our "sophisticated" tools stifle that a bit. I am so thankful for all that I have learned and continue to learn about using what I have available to create something or to accomplish something. I mean, really, why go to the trouble of buying a hedge-trimmer when the meat cleaver does the job just as well?