Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
Every time you feel so overwhelmed by the horrors of Third World underdevelopment and chaos, someone comes along with a great, oh-so-obvious solution. I came across this one via Slate:
In the United States, Britain and other wealthy nations, 60 to 70 percent of people wear corrective glasses...But in many developing countries, only about 5 percent have glasses because so many people, especially those in rural areas, have little or no access to eye-care professionals. Even if they could visit an eye doctor, the cost of glasses can be more than a month's wages. This means that many schoolchildren cannot see the blackboard, bus drivers can't see clearly and others can no longer fish, teach or do other jobs because of failing vision.
[Joshua] Silver's answer: Adjustable glasses.
OK, you have to be a science geek to have come up with this, but still. It's all about the mindset: Instead of giving up because glasses are so expensive, work on making glasses cheaper. Duh.
Check the piece for a link to the guy's site. The glasses are BCGs (think: Drew Carey) in the extreme but, when you make your living dumpster-diving in Bangladesh or wherever, ugly glasses are the least of your problems.