The Red Cross’ Missing Maps program is really impressive. See http://www.missingmaps.org/. Americans can share money, but we’re also good at mapping. Nowadays through satellite or cellular technology even remote places are accessible to the internet. I hope the convenience we experience here can be transported to our human brothers and sisters around the world who could really use it in a fix.
Many well-off Americans would consider a disaster a 6 hour flight delay without an upgrade, a dusty apartment rental in Europe or no chocolates on the pillow. Even people who don’t experience travel trauma can live in, effectively, the desert like Los Angeles or Phoenix and the worst thing that happens in a drought is that golf courses go un-watered. Whatever economic problems the US, Europe & Japan might have we were lucky to be born here. Of course, Americans have problems with people shut out of prosperity, but even they have some social safety net and the probability of dying of thirst or bacteria in their water is pretty low.
Contrast our lives to people who still have to engage in back-breaking labor at work and physical effort even to get their water from the well. I took this photo in Kathmandu, Nepal, which I have to imagine is pretty wealthy compared to the rest of Nepal. Yes, you got it right. These women really have to go to the well for water. In an earthquake situation this phenomenon might go from inconvenient to deadly if the well were capped by seismic activity. Imagine what it is like in a rural village where there might not be a spare hotel fawcett to help out. There are many places throughout the world with surprisingly undeveloped infrastructure that, whatever problems we may experience with bumpy roads or old bridges, we cannot even imagine.
I am having a benefit for this program at Santa Monica CoWorking in Santa Monica, 1450 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401 on November 12, 2015 from 6pm to 9pm. No donation is required, although the American Red Cross will be there to gleefully swipe your card and give you tax receipts should you be inclined. We’re going to have cocktails, entertainment and you can play with the maps program with an ARC rep in the conference room if you feel like it.