Wednesday, January 07, 2009

International Communication...

Video Skype anyone? Goodness!

I'm sitting at the Fireroast Mountain Cafe in South Minneapolis, and for the past hour have been mesmerized by a young blond who is wearing a headset and has a small video camera mounted to her computer. She has been speaking softly in another language, and conversing clearly with a person via her laptop and this internet connection. She laughs. Smiles. Nods. And I hear this foreign language spoken that takes me to scenes abroad. To life abroad. I imagine different warmer settings and time zones and something outside the frosty morning here in South Minneapolis. I am happy next to this woman.

She packs up her computer and equipment, and I learn she was talking with her sister and parents in Germany. (I have to inquire, right?) She is an education student doing an internship here in a German Immersion school, and has been studying and working in St. Paul for the past four and a half months. She has four weeks to go. She shares that this technology has been a saving grace. "It's just like they are next door, and I can reach out and see them and hear their voice, and it makes me so happy, less homesick."

I have at some point in the recent past been conversing with many of you about what it is to dialogue across nations, lines, borders, races, classes, boundaries....and how we develop and maintain relationships while living, traveling, studying abroad. I'm especially interested in how we raise families and children in the larger world. Seeing this technology at work inspires me as I lean into my future and imagine the possibilities of life and love....Here. And Abroad.


Happy Contemplating and Communications!


Kat Reed said...

One of my best friends and her husband traveled the world a couple of years ago for nine months and discovered Skype, they could talk/see (when cameras were available) from Sri Lanka to Muscatine, Iowa to visit with her parents…I use Skype for work and have recommended it to one of my clients who are Executive Recruiters for initial interviews for out-of-towners, saving travel expenses…they love it too! I use it to talk to my best friends and relatives in Texas, Illinois and California…and it’s FREE! Oh, and I think Yahoo has the same feature and someone I know likes it more than Skype! FYI!

Kat Reed
Old Town Finance

Pat Black said...

So funny that you sent this out today. In preparing for the TAJ meeting tonight I have been looking at the website that we are going to review. I got lost in Ann Henderson's journal entries of a project she is doing with an elementary school and it seems to be based on maps. I, immersed in their project, had to download Google Earth today and have spent the entire morning lost in space, literally, and Earth bound as well. I thought, "What would happen if we left video cams in the Congo or Iraq or the White House or the site where drive bys snuff out youth?" I wondered what it would look like from space from all these places and what happens when we slowly zoom in. I watched the sun travel around the world bringing light. Sunrise over and over in seconds. Then I googled my own address and there was my garden in late spring bloom. I have been traveling light years this morning but I didn't Skype anyone.

Alisa Blackwood said...

Lovely entry! I have just myself jumped into the world of video Skype (and video Google!) so that I can keep in touch with one of my best friends who moved to Shanghai in April. It blows my mind when we just hop on the computer and chat as if he were right there. Wild! We also bought a $30 web cam for my mom so she can call up and see her grandson whenever she wants. A great example of technology bringing us closer together...