Friday, February 22, 2008

Building A Better World

One of the things that the people of all third world countries can do is make stuff. I've always been amazed at their ingenuity and resourcefulness as they can fabricate anything so long as they have a model from which to work from. While in Bolivia as friend of mine remarked on this phenomenon, "If the space shuttle landed here in La Paz today the Bolivians would have a working copy of it within a week".

One of the things that I'm doing here in the villa is up-dating the gym. Right now it's a collection of old steel plates, an olympic bar, a few benches, a very nice treadmill, an a new Concept 2 Rower. I'm trying to cobble together a proper 'garage gym' that allows the bureau staff to accomplish the workouts that they want. For example, I wanted a 20 lb. medicine ball, so our Iraqi staff went out and purchased a $5 basketball from downtown, cut a hole in it, filled it with the appropriate amount of sand and cloth, and resealed it with a tire patch. Perfect!

I then gave them the mission of fashioning a wall-mounted chin-up bar. I downloaded some pictures from the Internet and gave them to the guys as a guide. Last night, well close to midnight, they were outside in the cold welding, grinding, and painting. The result this morning was an exact copy of the picture that I gave them right down to the brand-name stenciled in red letters on the iron supports. Tomorrow... a squat rack.

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