Speaking of places, I picked up a Garmin GPS the other day, the kind you need to have if you’re planning to do wilderness hiking. The guy at Gander Mountain seemed to know a lot about them and helped me pick out a good one.
It's called an eTrex 20. The box says it’s “ready for any adventure.” I read down through the list of what it can do. This is amazing technology! It is even submersible... I guess just in case I ever want to remember exactly where it was that I snorkeled past that sunken pirate ship.
I bought it because the maps we have of La Gonave are old and inexact. There are dozens of tiny villages on the island that don’t show up on the maps we have. And, more often than not, the homes aren’t clustered tightly enough that their village stands out on Google Earth. The homes are so tiny, spread out, and so hidden under the trees that we just can’t locate them on a map. But just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they are not there. Hundreds... no, thousands of people living out lives of quiet desperation. Out of sight, out of mind. Sadly.
“Waypoints” they call them in the GPS lexicon, those latitude and longitude coordinates that precisely, within a few feet, pinpoint where you are on this Planet Earth. Within a few feet! Which means that every home on the planet has its own unique latitude/longitude waypoint. Amazing, isn't it, that we live in a day when we can help to create the maps. No longer dependent on the etchings of dead cartographers, we chart our own course, finding and marking the points-of-interest as we go.
Seems to me everyone should be able to be found on a map, don't you think? I mean, doesn’t dignity, for all that entails, start with being found? Doesn’t significance begin with someone at least knowing I'm here?
"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways." Psalm 139:1-3