Here are three ways in which I observed how "small" and similar we are:
- Technology ... everywhere we went, we were asked to be part of "selfies" with Egyptians and to be "friends" on Facebook. Since returning to Canada, conversations continue using various social media.
- Relationships ... we quickly formed relationships with teachers, school directors, and tour guides. People genuinely desire to know and be known.
- English as a world language ... from Aswan to Luxor to Cairo, we had no difficulty communicating in English (although everyone also appreciated our feeble efforts at Arabic greetings!).
Yet it was also apparent that there are still significant gaps that limit our global connectivity. Here are three differences I observed:
1. Massive slums ... I was struck by the "bigness" of Cairo and its many impoverished communities. I heard various estimates of its size - from 10 million to 27 million - but, whatever the actual size, it is clearly a massive, sprawling city with many people living in poverty. Of course, there is poverty in big cities of Europe and North America, but the scale of it was what struck me. I wonder: How many of the children who live in these slums are in school? What are the social and economic opportunities available to them?
|Our hotel for part of our stay definitely categorized us as "haves"|