Sometimes I forget that technology actually changes our lives. I sometimes feel that I spend so long wrestling with it that I forget that progress is being made. Just when I’m getting fed up with the whole thing something will happen that brings it all into focus.
This week I was helping out at a celebration dinner for a lady from our church who is a missionary nurse in Rwanda and has been for more than 20 years. She’s recently been awarded the OBE.
The dinner was followed by the obligatory speeches. Only a few years ago these speeches would have been exactly that – “speeches”. And the PA system would have been not too good either.
With only a moderate amount of equipment that we already had available, nothing specialist, we were able to make this a multi-media event. As a missionary nurse in Rwanda she has worked with people from all over the world so we thought it would be great to have different people’s input. In the past this would have meant reading out letters, but these speeches actually went like this:
- Story on video from former colleague now retired to the USA.
- Digital pictures on video projector of visit to the palace, including pictures of her receiving the OBE from the Queen, taken from the official video.
- Some scanned pictures of her youth.
- A DVD of a song which the staff at the hospital in Rwanda had put together. This wasn’t just a bunch of people stood dumb in front of a screen, but was actually a fully produced video with the staff singing in all sorts of places around the hospital.
- Some words from some important people, all of which had been contacted by e-mail. There was also a reference from a blog that someone who was on a trip to Rwanda with Laura Bush, The First Lady had made. The reference was of course found by using Google.
The sound was great too, because we had access (from church) to good quality audio equipment.
Ten years ago a whole set of this technology would not have been mainstream enough for it to have been usable (video editing, video projectors, blog, e-mail, digital photography, Google), but they all made for a wonderful evening.
We all learnt something, and she was amazed by all of the different inputs.