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One man's trash is another man's treasure

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

We are closing in on our first four months here. Things have gotten super busy and my writing along with the many other projects we started since moving here have had to get put on the back burner. But busy is a happy problem, and one that we are extremely grateful for. However, I must add that starting projects and not finishing them before starting another is to be expected when you have a mother and daughter with ADD. The scenario is often one in which she gets a brilliant idea, I go along with it and help her, and then she loses interest midway (or sometimes sooner). Fortunately for her, she doesn't also have OCD like I do. This means that I end up finishing the project because a cluttered space is a cluttered mind in my world. So, today I'm happy to be able to sit down and write, but also to be able to write about a completed project!

Here in San Pedro, one of the primary modes of transportation is the golf cart. You see rental advertisements all over the island, and as Daniella pointed out, they all advertise "the best rates on the island!". She finds this funny because she said, "that just can't be possible!". And then I smile because I think of all the things she's experiencing in our life abroad in a developing country.

With golf carts being a big business here, we see many golf cart "graveyards" that have everything from old non-working carts and/or just a collage of parts--golf cart skeletons, if you will. As we drive on many of the back roads, we see lots of abandoned golf cart tires. At the same time, we've seen creative uses of these tires as chairs, plant holders, and other even more creative pieces. These observations led to Daniella's brilliant idea to make an ottoman with a tire and rope. She showed me a picture which looked like a product that would be sold at Pottery Barn and I was sold! We found a tire on the side of the road (side of the road treasures like these are anyone's for the taking). We bought duct tape, a soft green rope, and the harder rope for the outside. I made Daniella figure out how much we would need to cover the tire, as she is learning about circumferences, diameters, angles, etc. I love to have her apply what she's learning in school to real life situations.

(Her enjoying the final product today.)

(All done and perfectly staged for a catalog, at least in my humble opinion!)

We both were very excited and worked hard for a couple of hours on a Saturday night, jamming to some country tunes, laughing, and talking about how we would scale this business. She was doing most of the talking. As I listen to her business ideas (and she has many), I realize she has a natural business acumen and that makes me so proud. If we weren't on this journey, I would never have been able to see or experience this.

(The night of hard work! Not flattering pictures of me, but I'm not one to really care. I wanted to capture the stages of progress.)

As with all projects, it lost momentum and sat there unfinished for weeks until my OCD won. I grabbed the glue gun and just knocked it out. We are both really proud of it. And, it serves as more than just a place to rest our feet. Our little kitten, Gatito (kitten in spanish became his name) uses it as a scratch pad!

Since living here, I've come to really think more about the environment and our impact on it. So I'm trying really hard to at least reduce the impact the two of us have. I re-use almost every glass jar or bottle in some other capacity (as a drinking glass, storage for leftovers, olive oil and vinegar holders, etc.). And my eyes are always scanning the side of the roads because I now view "one man's trash" as potentials of "our own little treasures".

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