Up in Thought: In the Andes #1

On the flight in I was struck by a number of things. First was flying over the Bahamas. Paradise. The second was Panama. At close to 40,000 feet, you can see both the Atlantic and Caribbean shores and grasp the real geography in a way that I never thought was possible. A third thing that surprised me was the lack of light on the ground. There are entire areas that are black. We were 40,000ft above Ecuador and entire portions of the earth are dark. The airplane staff then comes by with sandwiches. I opened the complimentary sandwich and absentmindedly took a bite while I pondered the darkness thinking of how I wasn’t really hungry. I looked out the window again and a strange sickness came over me as I began to realize. I’m not flying over the United States. I’m currently 40,000 feet over a country where many people are hungry. Many times in my life I have sponsored children in Ecuador, using the letter correspondence to practice my Spanish from the comfort of my own life. As I sit here with my iPhone and Kindle, surrounded by luxury even in an uncomfortable airplane seat, the lesson has never felt as real.
May 23rd, 2011

This was the Caribbean ocean as we were flying over it at sunset.

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