Greetings and Happy Midweek!
As Hurricane Idalia blows across my area here in Florida this week, I thought we could briefly explore storms and, specifically, tracking them - across the planet and across cultures. This topic fits into our PROfile component of Global SKILLs’ PROACTive Framework. Figuring out any storm’s profile is a critical step in dealing with it, which is equally true of natural storms and when we look at different kinds of storms across cultures.
Decades ago, before any widely available storm tracking tools (and also before global cell phone coverage!), we used to sit on the West African coast as storms blew through and send a quick letter to our loved ones on the east coast of the US, telling them a storm was coming their way! You could literally count the days between when it hit us and when it would probably hit the US. So it didn’t surprise us, as storm tracking visuals and reporting became part of news cycles, that yes - some hurricanes in fact do originate off the very place where we used to sit and watch them! These days, like this week for many of us in Florida and other places around the world experiencing extreme weather, the onslaught of meteorological information and popular media storm tracking and coverage can be pretty overwhelming. But focusing in on pertinent details at the appropriate time (like when the storm is truly headed one’s way and what exactly is coming) does help protect lives and property.
As with natural storms, so with storms in diverse cultural contexts, by identifying and preparing for them, valuable insights can be gained. When we worked among different African people groups, we experienced storms as they came and went. Within the communities where we lived and worked, these weather events were greeted with differing views and interpretations. We learned that sometimes a storm marked an important event or sometimes it was considered retribution for missteps in local traditional religious practices. One sand storm I remember in particular, which filled the air with a thick curtain of yellow dust, was locally heralded as perfectly timed to coincide with the death of a popular religious leader.
While I would never recommend storm chasing to anyone, I do think storm tracking is a skill to be acquired - be it for the storms on the horizon, or ones within any given cultural context!
How about you ~ what is one insight tracking a storm across cultures has given you?
Share about that with a friend or note it here.
And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for more on storm tracking - and one bit on storm chasing, hopefully to discourage you doing that, if you are ever tempted!
Thanks for being part of this Connect community.
Until next week,
Global SKILLs LINKs
~ global storm tracking: https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane
~ samples of cultural interpretations of storms https://atlasmythica.com/storm-symbolism-meaning-bible-dreams/
~ very interesting take on ‘storms’, from an Indian perspective : https://www.vedantu.com/geography/storm (this is an intriguing general education resource site as well)
~ BEWARE of storm chasing: https://www.voanews.com/a/storm-chasers-face-host-of-dangers-beyond-severe-weather/6570707.html
* Related Connect posts: 2/24/21 - cultural awakenings; 6/29/22 - Geo-guessing game; 7/1/20 - silver linings; 5/31/23 - cultural islands
(you can find these by scrolling down here to the posted date)
** Through my business Global SKILLs and several partner subsidiaries I offer unique cross-cultural consulting and training including:
3 Dimensional Dynamics Model:
1st dimension = HOME ; 2nd dimension = HOST ; 3rd dimension = HARBOR)
PRO = PROfile (which we explored this week), PROcess, PROgram
ACT = Application, Collaboration and Transformation
~ contact me for more information on this model and these strategies and how you might use them in your current programming: firstname.lastname@example.org
2023 ~ Celebrating 40+ years of working in
intercultural communications and global community building
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