Skillfully Rescue Leftovers -“Don’t make excuses for not working – make things with the time, space, and materials you have, right now” – Austin Kleon – Steal like an artist
I received a lesson in story writing and how to skillfully rescue leftovers in August 1993. I was assigned to a team of four to conduct a Civil Aviation Assessment of the country of Madagascar’s aviation system.
It was a two-week trip including travel to and from the assignment, so the majority of our time in the country was spent taking care of business. We did, however, have a few hours to take in the sights here and there (yes, I got to see lemurs in the wild).
One side trip was a trip over lunch break to the large local outdoor market along L’ Avenue de l’Independance. It was massive. We found some treasures to bring back as gifts and remembrances.
As we walked back from the market, there were stray vendors along the street with their wares spread out on the ground.
Thrift Madagascar Style
One vendor had dozens of handmade “toys” he had fabricated from discarded metal cans. The work was extraordinary and the detail amazing. As we shopped, he continued his work using only a pair of small metal snips, blocks of wood for forms, and pliers.
No glue or J.B. Weld but rather He used small drops of ore of some kind. Melted over a tiny gas burner in a tiny metal pot to spot weld joints, the process took skill and care. However, most of the assembly came about using only skill in precise bending and molding the pieces together.
In the end, I bought a model of a VW bug for my husband. The cute biplane above, I purchased for myself. Both were at embarrassingly low prices. However, assured by my hosts that it was a generous sum for the vendor, especially since I paid in US Dollars, I relaxed a bit. We both were happy. I tried not to feel like the ugly American.