It does amaze me about all the options I have here. People can ask google questions and it answers them. Everyone has a mobile phone that can go on the internet. They would rather text than talk to each other, and they take pictures of their food and post it online. I am a little jealous that they take these things so much for granted. I do tell myself that they honestly think that everyone lives this way, that it truly is as easy as a few swipes of the finger and people all over the world get what they want. Then I remember that I am here for exactly this reason: to learn how to bring access to these types of information and the ability to communicate beyond small villages to my people. I do not know if we are ready for #instafood pictures, but some aspects would be an amazing help.
For example, my roommate planned to go camping for a weekend. Before she left, she used her computer to check the weather for the weekend and she also downloaded an app that had maps of the campgrounds so that she would not get lost. The longer I am here, the less surprised I am at this ease of access, but it is still fascinating to me. Some people in Bangladesh are not so lucky. They have no access to up-to-date maps or weather reports on demand. Some areas rely on weak radio signals to receive their information about the outside world and that can be difficult, too. Analog antennae are being phased out in a lot of the rest of the world—they even have satellite radios in their cars here! The sound from a digital receiver is much clearer, and when villagers are listening for things like weather reports or other danger that might be headed their way, the clearer the message, the better. Mobile phones here have a GPS feature that can warn you if there is dangerous lightning or flooding in your area and gives you enough time to escape. This is incredibly important in small rural areas where people may have to go long distances to reach safety. I want to figure out a way to reliably give people in remote areas that ability, too.
I am glad that the people here take technology like this for granted because they know more about it and can teach me. I am glad also because it means that it is widespread here and they have never been without it. If it can be widespread here, it can be widespread at home, too. I need to be one of the people who brings it back with me when I return home.