Think about this. You live in a small village in Africa or Asia or Latin America. You have never seen airplanes anywhere but flying high overhead. What would you know about airplanes?
I once heard a story about a small plane landing in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The plane landed, and at the end of the runway spun around 365 degrees. The passengers, who had never flown before, thought this was normal.
And this week I was reading Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Mali. Her friend Monique worried about a trip to the U.S. because she wasn’t sure she could hang on for so many hours. She was surprised to learn that you don’t fly outside the plane, like you would ride a motorcycle, but you fly on the inside, like a car. She also, never having seen a plane take off and land, believed the plane shot up like a rocket and then dropped back to earth like a rock.
Today was the last day for my two interns. I wish I could keep them on projects. They were great. Both from the University of Wisconsin. One had worked in the Kibera slum in Nairobi and spoke Swahili. The other is from Peru and did some work in Lima when he went home to visit his family. I'm sad to see them go.