I agree-- people in poor countries are way more accomplished than most of us in the US. I learned so much from illiterate peasants about how to survive: how to grow food and prepare it, build a shelter that will survive rain, kill a chicken and cook it, open a can with a machete, etc.
The things I could teach them were pretty easy to learn, and the technology that we have can be mastered by them with no trouble. But basic survival is not easy and if you don't have that, all the computers and cars in the world are useless.
We just scattered my father-in-law's ashes last week. He was of the generation that knew how to do things. He grew up on a farm, built his family's house, could keep a car running, could do plumbing and electrical work, could hunt and fish, understood nature, loved science, mastered the computer.
I read everything by Robert Heinlein in high school and believed most of it. Now I think a lot of his writing is nice-sounding utopian elitist objectivist bullcrap. Except this:
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
I took this to heart as a teenager and have tried to live by that ever since. Be useful. Learn everything.