Saturday, October 06, 2007

Are we really one of this?

I don't know if there was ever any doubt, but I personally don't like the mustache look. It's gone.

In case you are wondering, yes, this does mean that I managed to procure a razor. I went on an adventure downtown earlier today, actually to look for a camera for the school, and happened to see the razor. It was fairly inexpensive, and I needed one, so got it I did. I'm kind of wondering if I freak people out tomorrow. We'll see, but I doubt it.

As we were driving back from our shopping trip, we drove by a construction site. If you were here, you would realize that this is not an uncommon experience, and in fact site might not be the way to describe it. Maybe the better way to say it is that we drove by a building that men were going to work on. The were apparently adding a second story to a one story building in between two two story buildings. The way that they do this in this country is just build two walls in the front and back, since in many places the buildings are already adjacent.

How they were transporting the construction materials (bricks) to the second floor was standing in the back of a lorry (a big, open truck. Like a flatbed pickup, but bigger. And probably powered by a flat four that only runs on three cylinders.), reaching down, selecting a brick, and giving it the ol' heave-ho to the second floor, about 8 feet away and two feet higher. Now, I realize that bricks are construction material, and as such, some if not much durability is expected, but in addition to the damaged corners of bricks, there's also safety considerations (that pile did not have long-term stability, and people were walking under the throwers as they were throwing!), efficiency (do you realize how many bricks are in a wall?), structural concerns (it can't be good for the roof, which is soon to be a floor), and probably more that I am missing. But further differences are raised. The construction
is probably not all that well supervised or organized, there are no safety rules in place, there is no building code. It just further goes to show how the country isn't in the process of redevelopment. This is not the Reconstruction after the American Civil War, this is not a Marshall Plan country, this is not Occupied Japan. This country had no real industrial or economic footing before the Civil War started in the 80's. And it's been in a state of war since then, almost continuously. The reason it's in such horrible shape is the same reason that most American's can't run a marathon - all it's been doing for years has been destructive, and nothing to develop the necessary support or shape to do the things people want it to do fast.

Seriously, this country lacks so much, I can only guess how hard it would be to guess where to begin in the development cycle. Someone here told me they need clean water and reliable power. And that may be true on a personal level. But they also need a stable communications and transportation infrastructure. They need real roads and rails, they need physical telephone lines, not a cell network. They need a cultural readjustment that values honest, hard work. It's hard for me as an American (and an untrained observer in these things) to know where to start. I mean, the power and clean water has to get to the people somehow, right? So we need good, safe roads. Well, we need safety, so we need more military forces, which brings back the vicious cycle these people have to break...

But these thoughts do not discourage me. I know that [] is able to work in all times and places, regardless of situations or faces.

Speaking of times and places, I have to share that I really like our cook today. We got beef and potato hash for lunch, and pot roast with homemade bread for supper. Of course, Mom's pot roast is better, to say nothing of Grandma's, but just having Pot Roast... it was great.

Oh, and I shaved today! Now if only...

Well, I have a ton of work to do tomorrow, so I'm off to bed.


David said...

I'm wondering if the action with the bricks was really a game of ultimate bricksbee, not a construction site?

Kyle said...

It makes a person realize just how fortunate we are here in the US. Simple things from building codes to complex things like network infrastructures. We (as Americans) take quite a few things for granite.