Monday, October 25, 2004

Update from Kunming

I spoke with Amy briefly Sunday morning and again Sunday night. She was in Kunming, a city in the southern part of China, where they were going to help in a clinic for the day (Monday) before flying on to a more remote part of the country. As I type, it is almost midnight there, so they have already left Kunming for the next stop.

We were not able to talk long owing to the shared nature of the phone from which she was calling, but all is going well. They all arrived safely and enjoyed a relaxing Sunday in Kunming. Amy said everywhere she turns is a visual feast. She is taking as many pictures as she can given the fact that we forgot to send a couple of the smaller storage cards with her.

One thing to pray for is their ability to cope with the altitude. In Kunming, they were apparently at an elevation of 6500', and they will be going much higher to get to some of the smaller towns. They were walking as she was talking to me on the group cell-phone, and I could tell she was winded. This from someone who enjoys running 5k's! They are taking medicine to prevent altitude sickness, but I imagine everything will take more time and energy than they are used to. Our 600' elevation in Dallas seems downright subterranean by comparison!

Oh, and here's a more complete picture of Amy's travels from Friday to Saturday, which totaled 8694 mi, according to the Great Mapper site.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Cool CGI stuff for those with nothing better to do…

Just found a great site that aids in my desire to track Amy's progress towards Beijing. Great Circle Mapper will map a path between two airports using the great circle route typically flown by commercial airlines. For example, here is an image showing the shortest path between Chicago and Beijing:


She’s off!

Amy and I headed to the airport bright (well, it was still dark) and early this morning, and I saw her safely through the security checkpoint, and on her way to Chicago, and on to points west (or east, depending on how you look at it...)

Pray for a safe trip, and a quick recovery from jet lag. It is, after all, a difference of 11 hours!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Special request

For those that don't know about this already, my better half, the talented and lovely Dr. Bredenberg, will be headed to China early tomorrow morning to spend two weeks serving in medical clinics and helping with public health training for people in the southern part of China. She will be travelling with a group of about 12 other people including doctors and nurses. While there, they will help in these clinics and see how future trips can best serve the existing clinics and doctors in these areas.

We obviously desire your prayers for safety and a productive and enjoyable trip for the whole team. I will be posting updates from Amy as we are able to communicate, and we hope to have pictures to post when she gets back. We are not sure yet how much access she will have to phones and/or email, and the thirteen to fourteen hour time difference may also make communication difficult.

Feel free to email me and ask for more details!

Friday, October 8, 2004

Google SMS

As evidenced by my earlier post on Lookout, I am always interested to find new techie stuff to make life easier. In that vein, I think Google's new Google SMS service is outstanding!

To elucidate (a word I looked up via this service) I'll give an example of how this changes things for me. I have a Treo phone that is able to browse the web. Up until now, when I have been out and about and needed to find an address or phone number, I have navigated to a search page and eventually (some number of clicks later) found what I was looking for. This process usually takes several minutes as I wait for Sprint's system to respond and my phone to load the pages needed.

Now, however, all I have to do is send a quick message (via SMS) to Google, and their service will reply (very quickly, so far!) with business listings, residential listings, current product prices, or even a definition of a word! You can read their page for more information and complete instructions, but I'm already liking this!