Tuesday, July 22, 2014

1 in a million

Previously on Facebook I mentioned a man who relentlessly pursued his vision of bringing hydroelectricity to his homeland.  I got to spend Sunday with this guy, which inspired me to write a top-10 list:

10. He woke me at up at 3:30am, "Mr. Andy, get on the motorcycle and take me up the valley to work on a project that called late last night."  I immediately regretted calling the man relentless!

9. While we bounced along the road on a motorcycle that should have been scrapped 10,000 miles ago, he told me stories the whole time, which helped me relax and let the bike and the road find their own way to get along.

8. One of said stories was about the government 20 years ago doing "flood relief" by dropping bombs from planes onto logjams that were holding in the floodwater.

7. When we had a sudden session of side-to-side sand drifting, he threw up his hands and begged God for mercy (and we didn't wipe out).

6. It took him only an hour to fix the hydro turbine, because he knows his stuff.

5. After 6 hours of getting beat up on some of the craziest roads I've ever ridden, he was still happily telling stories, like how he was the best donkey-shoeing man in the district back in the day.

4. Baked by the sun and covered in fine dust, what was the first thing he did after getting back to our room? Sit down and play a local instrument of course (click video below).

3. While in Tajikistan he caught the young guys on our team starring at the local women, and smacked them and told them if their jaw hung any lower a bird would fly in.

2. Throughout the day he was a great help: he directed me to and gave me great introduction to village elders, police commanders and governors, allowing me to easily get into conversation with them, collect data for an upcoming proposal, and exchange facebook IDs with them.

1. Before this trip, I already knew this guy was quality, because in the spring when there was a bad fallout in one of our staff teams, the entire project would have gone down the drain, except that he withstood tremendous pressure to ally with some corrupt workers, and instead held up truth, integrity, and genuine service to poor communities here.

One thing that always makes me happy to be here: Spending time with 1-in-a-million characters like this guy.

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