Life in South Africa is still a surprising adventure, even though I’m starting on my third year of living in this country. I still routinely discover new things and the village life never ceases to amaze me. And this morning was no exception.
When I woke up and glanced at my phone, I immediately saw the date….as an American, I don’t think September 11th will ever pass unmarked. But I didn’t expect to hear anyone talking about it in my rural village in the mountains of South Africa. However, I hopped on the taxi to get to work this morning, and the guys on the radio were discussing their memories of September 11th. How one got home from school and saw the first tower burning, then sat glued to the television for the next 45 minutes as the world changed. How the other guy thought he was watching a movie, then could hardly believe that it was really happening.
The spoke of the lives lost, and how America changed. How the world changed. I was only on that taxi for a few minutes, but I finally understood how much that day in America affected people around the world. Yes, all of us in America were glued to our televisions, horrified and praying for a wounded nation. But we clearly weren’t alone. People around the world were watching with us. I remember sitting in my living room, sick as a dog, as a twelve year old who didn’t really understand what was happening until I saw my mother’s reaction. My world changed. But I wasn’t alone in the feeling. We, as a nation, weren’t alone.
September 11th didn’t just change America, is was a day that changed the world, as the opening words to the radio segment mentioned. Clearly the radio announcers had eerily similar reactions to the events on September 11th that we felt in America, even half a world away. It changed their world as well.