I heard today through the grapevine that Saipan was mentioned on CNN. Apparently as they were discussing the world weather and some typhoons that were headed towards Hong Kong, the weatherperson mentioned that the typhoons had originated in and around Micronesia, passing by Saipan – the island that has lost its internet and phone connectivity. So, there was our 2 seconds in the spotlight. According to that source, you can find out a bit about what happened here by searching “Saipan” in Google. A lot of people have found out what happened here if they have friends in Guam who have been posting on Facebook or other social media to get the word out.
It has been interesting wondering what the ‘outside world’ knows about what is going on here. The opposite is true too in that I am sitting around wondering what is going on in the ‘outside world.’ We will probably rely on the Coast Guard and other emergency response personnel to notify us if another typhoon or tropical storm sweeps through the region. If some important world decision happened or God-forbid, some terrorist act or headline-grabbing riot took place, I would have no idea. At this point, coconut wireless has worked out some of its kinks so I’m sure I’d found out soon but not in the traditional ways that I found out before. And there would certainly be no fact checking behind it.
As I was reading to the end of The End of Your Life Book Club, the book veers towards the accomplishments of one of the characters – the mother with pancreatic cancer who has an impressive career in the world of refugees via the Women’s Refugee Commission. She talks about some of the things I have witnessed and some of the things I have only read about. Child abuse and slavery, human trafficking, children forced into military service, and the other horrible things that often tend to come from unstable countries that produce refugees. She talks about how little, especially children but also adults, know about the outside world. How easily propaganda (because it is the only information available) can become what is true and right. The power of information, starting from the power of literacy and education, is ridiculously strong. I know these last four-ish days of lack of information is NOTHING compared to that but it does help me realize how truly powerful information can be if used in the right way (or if used in the wrong way). She suggested that if you can’t do much more to help these types of causes or things that are happening far removed from your world, you should at least read about it. I feel even more lucky now that I have access to virtually all the information in the world on my fingertips – I hope I use that to my advantage when I get reconnected.
(P.S. I went out to eat lunch with some friends today and was treated to this sign. Hallelujah! They said that apparently they have a dial-up Internet connection through one of the banks to process their credit cards. *Insert dial-up processing sound here)
Stay tuned for more.
To start reading from the beginning of this series, click here.