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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

September 7, 2012


I have arrived.

I use Google Maps all the time. I’ll look up a house I am about to visit and if needed, I’ll print a map. Yes, I know I have a GPS on my iPhone and I’ll use that too. But, watching traffic while driving and also the small screen on my phone is dangerous.

I’ll print out the map, look it over and toss it in the car and set out. It’s great.

A couple years ago it occurred to me that maybe the old Mission School where I taught in Zambia back in the 1970’s might be on Google Earth. Back then, they had one phone at the school. Mr. Simucho or Mr. Phiri would come get any teacher if they had a phone call. In three years of teaching, neither Mr. Simucho nor Phiri summoned me to the phone. No phone calls to me in three years.

I placed one phone call in that three-year period. I was lining up a basketball game with my varsity squad and the Catholic School in Lusaka. Anyway, it was pretty isolated in 1975, but somewhere around 2008 it occurred to me that maybe even Google Earth had penetrated the heart of Africa.

Sure enough. I could zero in on the Mission School “campus” (more like a military barracks with a chapel). But, there it was; our house, the basketball court where I coached (outdoor cement court, mind you), the classrooms, the dorms (one again think, WWII barracks), the chapel, the river where the hippos grunted all night and the bridge guarded by soldiers.

It was surreal to see that place after over 30 years. So I went on to Google Earth my apartments in Berkeley, the seminary, my favorite haunts. I went to Lima to see my old homes, the railroad switchyards where I worked in the summers between college years. I scrolled over to Wisconsin, Montana and Washington State to look at my old homes there too. And of course, I have many times checked out the maps and satellite photos of Dublin, Ohio, and Dublin Community Church.

I know that Google Maps update every few years and I have seen their camera cars in the Columbus area over the past year. But, I have no idea how often their satellites take new photos. Recently I zeroed in on the church and there it was…just what I had been looking for over the years…proof of my existence on this planet.

In the satellite photo, parked next to the west side of the church…my red car in the Sr. Minister’s personal parking spot. Validation.

I have arrived.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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