Wielding Machetes

The yard guys came out yesterday to work on the landscaping. Back in the US, I used to mow, hedge, edge, weed-eat early on. I loved it! Yes, I had to take frequent breaks with the Texas heat, but there was satisfaction in a job with such visible results.

Steve has an allergic reaction when he is around grass for an extended period of time (hence, not as many blanketed picnics as I would like). He tried, bless him, but he would swell up into a lobster-like mess. So, when I went back to teaching, we decided to hire the task out.

The yard guys back in Texas would usually show up in a truck with a trailer, like bugs they would spread out, and after about twenty minutes, they’d jump back in their truck and be on their way. I think it had a lot to do with the heat, but also the amount of work they could get done when the temperatures weren’t so hot.

The yard guys here show up in a truck, too. They all pile out and set to work. You will see a mower or two, but the big difference is the lack of edgers, weedwhackers, blowers, etc. Every single worker is wielding a machete. Small ones, big ones–my, oh, my!

I love this excerpt from Wikipedia: “In tropical and subtropical countries, the machete is frequently used to cut through rainforest undergrowth and for agricultural purposes (e.g. cutting sugar cane). Besides this, in Latin America it is not uncommon to see a machete being used for such household tasks as cutting large foodstuffs into pieces—much as a cleaver is used—or to perform crude cutting tasks such as making simple wooden handles for other tools. It is also common to see people using machetes for their odd jobs such as splitting open coconuts, working the lawns, clearing brush, or other related activities.”

Used in ways I could never imagine

I watched in awe as a couple of men, on their hands and knees, with small, curved machetes meticulously edged around the sidewalk. Yes, it was hot while they were working (nowhere near Texas heat), but they seemed to take such pride in their work. The results were beautiful. A little while later, two men with larger machetes began whacking off dead limbs from the palm trees. Wow!

I guess I’ll have to learn to use one. Often out and about town, you’ll see men, women, even young boys using machetes with such ease. From yardwork, to kitchen/cleaning, there’s always some type/size of machete involved. For now, I’ll stick with my basic kitchen set of paring, serrated, slicing, and chopping knives. The rest is up to the professionals.
Posted in home life

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