Richard Dean Anderson. Most of you may not remember that name because he is more popularly known as MacGyver by the character he played in the TV show with a title of the same name.
I have to say that it was one of my favorite mid-eighties show. It is a classic example of making do with what you have. Granted the show was a little hokey in theory but as a kid in those days, just the thought of making everything possible with the little that you have to solve whatever problem you may be faced with, is a great skill to have.
So why you may ask am I promoting this show, this guy or at least the character he plays in the show. Well, because I did a bit of Macgyvering myself. Hmmm…..macgyvering, is not a really a word but I am making it up now. But I need not explain what that means since I think most of you are familiar enough with the show.
I was faced with what some people would call third world problems. The road on my childhood home is being paved from asphalt to cement. A big undertaking to say the least. My first day here, they worked through the night. I don’t know how people slept through that because I certainly couldn’t stand it. Luckily, I has jet lagged enough that by the time I crashed I didn’t care what noise I heard. Now the roads here are very narrow so they can’t do one side first and then the next. They have to do the entire length of the road. Don’t ask me why it was planned this way and who in their right mind would approve it in city government….but….this is the way of life here. Doing it on one side at a time is costly so they don’t mind inconveniencing the homeowners. Somewhat it is understood and it all makes sense and life goes on. YOU JUST DEAL WITH IT!
Before I get into my tirade of first world vs. third world issues, I will tell you how I was able to apply my love of MacGyver. As I mentioned, our road is being reconstructed and without a clear schedule of when things are going to happen (i.e. when is the first pour is going to be, when should I park my car from the house or even in the garage and god forbid, where should I park my car if I do have to take it out. Needless to say, we missed an opportunity where they already started to compact the dirt and placed the steel on the middle. When they did that, a manhole tube was exposed and even an SUV will have trouble getting over that without experiencing some damage to the car. So my nephew, Jomari took out the car and we tried anyway (he was driving and I was on the road watching). It was clear that it just wasn’t going to work. I asked if we have ramp and of course we don’t. I thought about asking a garage that could lend us one. Now that in itself you may ask why on earth would a garage just lend us their ramp. We live in a community where it is comparable to Little House on the Prairie but even besides that it is just as I mentioned earlier, the way of life here. People are generally hospitable even though there may be drama that comes with it.
So back to my story….
We were going to park the car back in our garage and then I spotted 4 car tires. They were from the old car we had and it would be okay if we damaged them at this point. Need I explain at this point what I had done? Okay…perhaps I should. We used the 4 car tires to get the rest of the surrounding area of the exposed manhole to level it up and use it as a ramp and VOILA it was golden. My only regret was I didn’t record it or even take a picture of it as it was happening but I suppose, well, I was in the middle of solving the problem so there that is my excuse. And it all happened in a span of 10 – 15 minutes and while I was chatting with Ric on WhatsApp. I have to say this is going to be in my collection of my proudest moments. And I come back to the mantra that you make do with what you have. Rather than being negative and rant about it, you compartmentalize and face the issue at hand.
I did manage to take a picture of the manhole. I’ve put arrows on where I placed the tires so our car can ramp up to it. That is Filipino ingenuity for you.
For a real inspirational Filipino ingenuity, let me share this youtube link with you about “Isang Litrong Liwanag” (a liter of light). A grassroots organization.
I hope you like my post today. Please send me feedback, comments, you can even give me a bad time. Although this may not seem to be related to my journey/quest, it is a part of getting to that point. I just take it a day at a time.
Until next update….