DCC News

 

Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church

 

September 19, 2008

                                                           

When My Mind Wanders, This is Where It Goes

I was looking at the photo in the newspaper. In the past decade there has been tremendous upheaval in the nation of Zimbabwe. It would take a semester long college course to understand the situation and then we would have only scratched the surface on the aspects of colonialism, Majority Rule and lingering resentment of Minority Rule. Suffice it to say, that country has faced the worst of times.  Still is.

Some displaced European farmers have had to flee and in doing so, they gathered up as many displaced farm horses and trekked into Mozambique, the Indian Ocean nation to the East. Apparently these people are going to protect those horses and use them for tourists who come to the coast of Mozambique for holidays. So, there I am looking at the picture of a woman…standing next to her horses…...in Africa…..and she is standing there holding a cell phone like we all do.

That’s it. A woman, in Africa, casually holding a cell phone.

I know Africa has cell phones. I know that continent probably has more cell phones than land-lines and in some cases it has cell phones because it has no land-lines. But, I think it was the casual way she held the phone, like it was a part of her very being, that got me. Everyone has a cell phone. Our cell phone is taken for granted like our cup of mocha latte decaf frappuccino and our iPod Nano with matching ear buds.

Remember that picture of the cell phone-holding woman in Africa, I’ll return to it.

The other day I was sitting in my office working on the computer. I was sipping coffee and glanced out the window. I saw walking outside a Muslim woman in full headscarf. Right behind her were two Indian women in Sari’s. Next was a woman speaking Japanese. Behind them was a “Dublin” mother…shorts, tank top.

I don’t think this is the Dublin of thirty years ago. I also don’t think that Dublin is unusual in its multi-ethnicity. Go to any Metro Area in the US and you will find this world-without-borders (so to speak). I was in enclaves of San Francisco, which had more resemblance to parts of Asia. A few years ago I was in Bombay/Mumbai and it reminded me of parts of New York AND neighborhoods in London.

 

Several times a week I email my old friend in Bangkok and we “talk” about the Big Ten football game and whether his Alma Mater, The University of Illinois has done well in football or basketball. He often knows the scores before me because of satellite TV and ESPN which reaches his home there Thailand just as it does mine in Canal Winchester.

I was in Heathrow Airport in London a few years ago and as I stood in a line for the British Airways flight to India, an Indian gentleman was there re-packing his luggage. He took out of his massive luggage…a pressure cooker. A used pressure cooker. It was like he had left India, flown to London to cook and was about to return. Is London now seen as a temporary lay-over between roundtrips from India? Apparently so for that man.

I know about global trade, somewhat. I know that some corporations wield as much clout as some governments. I know that our world is probably trade-based as much as we are nation-based. I may not understand it all, but I know that things have changed greatly when a woman standing in the formerly war-torn coast of Mozambique is holding a cell phone as if she just finished a call to her daughter in another town and country.

I just wonder if Americans really think much about the interconnectedness of the world and that we, as a nation, are just one of the many players. Or are we still insisting that we are #1 and that is about as far as we go when we think of other nations?

By the way, you can look up the tropical paradise of Vilanculos, Mozambique by Googling the place. It seems that the cyclone of a couple years ago put the resort out of business for awhile. But if you read carefully, it says that their Holidays are “quite affordable” at $250 per person per night. Hmmm.

While you are Googling and your computer crashes and you phone for technical assistance, you might be speaking to someone in Bangalore, India… probably the same call center that the cell-phone-holding-woman in Mozambique needs to contact when her cell phone is on the blink.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing