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Picture of the Day
June 1, 2021

if you want to meet resourceful people, seek out emigres. they're the ones who look past habit and conditioning to take a chance on making a better life despite uncertain circumstances. the Iraqi volunteers on Al-Mudhif are an accomplished lot, with top credentials and experience in architecture and engineering, leavened with old fashioned common sense. the mudhif site is very sloped, so "Tommy" recommended using a water level to get benchmarks. i knew the technique, but had never tried it, so i eagerly ran to nearest hardware store and snagged their last 30 feet of 5/16" tubing. we filled it from a jug but needed a way to plug it until ready for use. with smug yankee ingenuity, i started whittling some sticks. Tommy wasn't impressed, appeared to lose interest and reached for a bag of dates. "are these pitted?" i read the label--"nope!" he handed one to me and ate one himself. "good." he passed the pit to fingertips and plugged one end of the tube and I did the same with the other. a perfect fit.