Sunday, April 04, 2010

Mexican Ingenuity

I have drawn a couple of arrows to point out a ladder because it is a little hard to see in the context of this beautiful church.

We were in the Parroquia church on Holy Wednesday in the late afternoon. There were some men in the church doing little chores preparing the church for the Easter events. One man brought a tall ladder and leaned it on the pillar in the right foreground. He looked up and decided that it wasn't going to be tall enough. So he pulled a.....I'm not sure about the terminology but a seat with a place to kneel in prayer over, then he put the bottom of the ladder into the seat and leaned it against the pillar. Ahh....now we understood what he needed to do. He was going to change out some light bulbs in the chandelier. Who needs a motorized lift and a safety belt to do a job? Not this man. He has Mexican ingenuity.

Seriously, I'm amazed at how Mexicans figure out ways to get things done with what they have available and they do it without getting hurt. I think anyone who has watched a house renovated or being built here in San Miguel can tell you a story or two about how the men work together to do things that just leave us gringos with our hearts in our throat.

10 comments:

Esteemarlu said...

It's being frugal and learning to make do with what you have.

Suzanne said...

I am always amazed by the same thing also. It's really something.

Also, the seats are called pews.

Gary Denness said...

I know exactly what you mean. Except the 'without getting hurt' bit! I've seen plenty of Mexicans injure themselves. The most shocking incident, pun intended, involved one man passing up a metal ladder to his buddy on the roof of a two story building. I saw the flash as it hit the cables, and saw him slumped over the roof, well out of it. Whether he lived to tell the tale I don't know. But it was one more reminder why there are H&S laws in the UK.

Laurie said...

My father was a mechanic by trade, and he did lots of things with "ingenuity" especially in the 50s and 60s before safety laws were enacted. I agree with another poster. Sometimes good people get hurt. My father often put his life at risk to get to drilling platforms or off shore boats to complete a job. Yes we have lost lots of innovative thinking and a sense of hard work in the States, but...my dad's confessions of some of his exploits were a bit jarring.

Calypso said...

The hombre that would climb that ladder to change a bulb has to be my loco!

Billie said...

Those of you who posted that Mexicans workers do get hurt are correct but still I'm facinated by how they figure out how to get things done. It is really amazing how much things have changed in the last 20 years in Mexico so far as mechanized equipment. Just 7 years ago most of the Mexican tile setters who work in small independent crews in SMA were still using a clipper type handtool to cut and shape tiles. Then some of the gringos started buying them electric tile cutters while they were laying tile in kitchens and bathrooms. Now, I don't know of any tile setter who isn't using the electric tile saw. Many of the Mexicans who work in home construction do not use the hard hats, safety goggles etc., that the gringo builder buys for them. Or they only use them when the gringo is on site. On the other hand, the other day I was at a friends and she was having some work done on a high wall. They were setting up their ladders with harnesses and safety belts. The times, they are changing. But in the Parroquia, the light bulbs are still changed with a very tall ladder balanced on a "chair."

Billie said...

Suzanne, is it still called a pew when it is just one seat that usually sits on the podium for one of the clergy to sit on and kneel? Or for the bridge or groom to kneel on during the wedding ceremony? I thought it had some special name.

Mexico Cooks said...

In French, it's called a prie dieu. It's a desk-like kneeling bench with a place to sit. The part in front is to rest your elbows and/or your prayer book.

In English, it's usually simply called a kneeler.

Cristina

Billie said...

Cristina, I started to call it a kneeler but didn't know if that was correct. Thank you for clarifying the name.

DanaJ said...

"Prie Dieu".....that's a new, attractive word for me. I'm thinking of how to use it in a different context. Thanks Critina!