Sunday, February 6, 2011

Old school recycling

I’ve long bored people with my diatribes on the tragedy of our throw-away/disposable culture, pointing to the dying off of repair shops as a natural result.   Not so here in Kenya.  What people lack in resources, they make up for in resourcefulness; and you can get pretty much anything from a sandal to a stereo repaired by one of the many fundi flanking the main road to town.
So, when all of Caleb’s soccer balls were destroyed by his very enthusiastic friends, we simply took them to the bicycle repair shop to be patched and pumped up.  Now, this is a bare bones operation, but they had a pump.  When it didn’t fit the ball exactly, they picked up some plastic from the ground and wrapped it around the pump nozzle for a tighter fit, and when they didn’t work they took a hacksaw to the bit of the nozzle that was getting in the way.
I love that Caleb is learning that things can be remade and repaired with a little care and ingenuity, and that it’s not always appropriate to throw things out when they lose their luster. At least I hope that lesson is slowly and subconsciously sinking in.  Whatever he learned, it was definitely second to the thrill of working the bike pump.

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