Thursday, 12 August 2010

Old School New School

For sure when I was 18 years-old I didn’t know what I wanted to do. A girlfriend from school who was sent away to study in Switzerland spoke with me on the phone one day.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
I remember replying with something to the affect of “Not much.”
“Well, if you’ve got the money why don’t you come to Europe?”
Two summers in a row I was fortunate to work for the Provincial Parks Branch. I’d saved the money. Even with my horse, I kept up part-time jobs and left the money in the bank.
When the idea crossed my temple, my only thought was “Why not? I’ll try anything once!”
Back then you could buy a Eurail Pass and a Youth Hostel membership pretty cheap. I did all that. Got on a plane and landed in Europe. Alone. Yes. Was I scared? Not really. But Europe was bigger then I imagined and getting around no easy feat.
I managed England, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and finally Greece. Where I ran out of money and had to work. Slept on beaches. Celebrated my 19th birthday on a Greek Island called Paros.
Now that my only child has graduated and turned 18, I keep telling him “You need to get out of dodge.”
I suggested he come to Uganda with me in November. School or Africa, take your pick.
There’s hesitation in the decision so far. Six weeks without a Blackberry pretty much. He’s talking to me while he’s having at least three different Blackberry Messenger conversations with his friends.
Without the Blackberry, what’s left? Face to face communication. Direct eye contact. Verbal dialogue.
Is that what they call Old School?

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