Today Nadine isn’t my Self Driving Car

Nadine, my awesome and lively uber ride who proved to me refugees are more than their past, they are solutioneers.

What is it to be human today?

One day uber may be robots, they will find a reason to make the automation of all transportation experiences. Most of this has already started with the automation beginning towards the self driving vehicles in Pittsburgh. Today, is for that reason more precious than ever, today we can have wonderful and inspiring reminders of why we work on things to create a better LIFE for us as humans. Today I was needing to remember why I care about the human side of this technological future, and after my last uber ride lured me to take a stop to pet some sheep by Four Barrell coffee, I ended up in the lively ride by Nadine. Nadine got us to speak French together, and engaged our uber pool folks without trying. Nadine was connecting and being alive; being present is natural for her. When it was just me and her, Nadine shared why she is here. Today Nadine reminded me why I think it’s worth doing the things I want, why I am not wanting to get lost in my elitist bubbles, she reminded me that right now, these stories, connecting, and hearing the way someone different than me lives and has experienced life, can still be shared in these, (not always, but at times), very beautiful rides with people we would otherwise never meet. Nadine persevered, left Ivory Coast, and with it she left sad stories, ones that made her scared the first time she heard a washer, thinking it was a war happening in her safe spot in her new home with her uncle, and only local relative, in California. Her past are stories of deaths she saw, killings she viewed, and images of wars that are done, but remain fresh in her mind. Nadine, immersed herself in the California dream and reminded me why it’s not always easy to go back and be working with refugees. Nadine humbled me to be aware where the line of wisdom Nadine has and the optimism and hope that I have, blend to make change. Nadine finds ways to get past her problems, she considers herself a solutioneer, not stuck in her past life as a refugee.

Today, I met Nadine for ten minutes, tomorrow maybe Nadine will be replaced by an empty seat with a automated voice called “Nadine” that is driving me home. The “Nadine” of tomorrow, made meeting Nadine today even more precious to me.

To me #today could be a collection of recorded stories like this to remind us of this human past that may be totally different tomorrow. Perhaps a robot will be efficient, but once in a while I am sure I’ll think of these fleeting times of people like Nadine who reminded me what it means to be human today, learnkng to cope, be solituineers, and be ALIVE. (Thanks to all my Uber drives that lead to such insights into humanity).

Thanks to the African Advocacy Network for what they do. I’m looking forward to reaching out learning how I can work with them in the future. Nadine made me aware of this organization as they helped her learn English which she speaks excellently, and got her through the process of integration into America from refugee status. This post os dedicated to the reminder by ICRC that today is International Day of The Disappeared. I was touched by Nadine’s story as it reminded me the loss of people and lives war have iver humanity.

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