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laying a road by hand








This description came from someone's article in Australian Road Rider about a motorbike trip around East Timor:

I’ve never seen a road being handmade before. There were young men and boys placing river pebbles and stones in a neat arrangement, others tended fires on which 44-gallon drums of tar rested. A few men had ladles on long poles which they dipped into the drums of molten tar then carried to the stone sections and poured.

Source: "East Timor: Land of Children"

Here's a photo of roadbuilding in Timor-Leste from 2010, courtesy of Wikipedia:



Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
May. 27th, 2015 12:50 am (UTC)
That is pretty nifty!
asakiyume
May. 27th, 2015 10:16 am (UTC)
I thought so too!
queenoftheskies
May. 27th, 2015 01:08 am (UTC)
Wow!
asakiyume
May. 27th, 2015 10:16 am (UTC)
Neat, right?
stormdog
May. 27th, 2015 01:46 am (UTC)
That's amazing. My society is so disconnected from the manual labor that went into things like this before mass mechanization.
asakiyume
May. 27th, 2015 10:14 am (UTC)
To me, it's so empowering. Ordinary people can build an actual road, that actual cars can go on! (I presume you still need an engineer to tell you about how to angle it and things like that, but...)
danceswithwaves
May. 27th, 2015 04:27 am (UTC)
Cool!

The linked article was interesting also. I found it interesting how the writer was surprised that the idea of "fun" would be known in a place that has subsistence farming and general poverty. It makes me wonder if there's a different concept of poverty, also.
asakiyume
May. 27th, 2015 10:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, the article writer was rather unselfconsciously naive, in a kind of refreshing way.

My sense is beyond certain absolutes, people's perceptions of poverty are conditional and situational. When I was there, the students I interacted with definitely had a sense of one another's relative well-off-ness--the kids from the Catholic boarding school were more well off than others; the kid who had to walk several miles from a remote village to get to town was less well off, etc.--while at the same time having a clear sense they they were all less well off than *me*. It struck me that the nation as a whole, and people individually, too, were just so grateful and happy to be living in a time of peace and not to be under the thumb of the Indonesians anymore.
mnfaure
May. 27th, 2015 07:23 am (UTC)
I read " A few men had ladles on long poles" as "had ladies"! o.O Glad that wasn't the case. :P
asakiyume
May. 27th, 2015 10:04 am (UTC)
I made a similar mistake at first and thought it was ladies who were somehow in charge of putting down the tar (very specific gender role, LOL).
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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