Had a great conversation with Audrey in Ubauna last night.
I always find it fascinating that we’re chatting away like he is across the street when he is thousands of miles away. Technology has changed the world and made it smaller (and more affordable!). Decades ago when I moved to and lived in Brasil, we could not afford to call to the U.S. except for the briefest of time and it was usually delegated to emergency-type communications. One 10-minute phone call would cost upwards of $100.
Since adversity is the mother of invention, we had to find another way to communicate. Remember, there were no internet, cell phones, text messaging or even affordable courier-type services like UPS and FEDEX (they existed but they were exorbitant). We once sent an airport-to-airport envelope from Brasil to Chattanooga via the airlines and were surprised that it ONLY cost us $150.
The old standby was letter. You had to allow at least two weeks for it to arrive. We sent lots of letters. Sponsoring churches, contributors, potential contributors, family… we were on first name basis with all of the clerks at the post office.
Our real communication device, however, was ham radio. We would contact a radio operator in the U.S. who would “patch” us through to people we needed to talk to over the phone line. Federal regulation dictated that you could not talk “business;” since you were literally broadcasting to the world, you did not want to give too much personal detail; and, you had to end every sentence with “over.”
Ahhh… the good ol’ days… NOT!
While letters were definitely more personable and ham radio was actually fun, as a means of staying in close contact with folks, I’d take the present state of technology any day! To have had access just to email alone would have revolutionized our existence thousands of miles away. Cheap phone service and video messaging? That would have been just short of heavenly.
Count your blessings. Not even Solomon had the wealth that we enjoy every day and take for granted.