Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Miners rescued in Chile

I have been watching the live footage of the 33 miners being rescued from the collapsed mine in Chile. I am so happy for them and for their families. I started watching late last night, and had a hard time tearing myself away from it. I can understand only a very little of what is said, my Spanish isn't great, but I don't think you have to understand the language to understand the emotion.

As I watched, I thought about how different the coverage would be if it were in the U.S. There would be commentators, of course, telling us repeatedly what is happening, how long the shaft is, the size and weight of every piece involved, etc. There would also be back story on each person coming out of the mine: who they are, how long they worked for the mine, what exactly their position was, who was waiting for them at the top, etc. etc. etc. This coverage is blissfully simple. I can read the caption telling me who is coming out, and how old they are. I can also read the caption that tells me who the emotional person standing near the shaft waiting for their loved one is. Really, that is all I want to know.

What I find interesting, however, is that they also have a camera that follows the miners to the area where they are reunited with their families (after being checked out preliminarily at triage). I really don't need to be there. I know they are emotional, and frankly, if it was me, I think I would want to be left alone. Yes, they only give us a few moments of that reunion, but I am not sure I even need to be included in that. Thankfully, it seems the camera operators are at least responsive to the miners needs. I caught a glimpse of one reunion, where the couple was embracing for a long time. The miner stared directly at the camera (even with the dark glasses, you could tell he was staring at the camera), which made me feel like I was intruding. Then he simply shook his head once, and the camera left them. I have to wonder if that would have happened if it had been somewhere else in the world.

I have also been sharing this experience with my kids. Yes, they are only 4 and 7, but the coverage is so simple, that it is easy to answer their questions without having to explain the hype by the commentators. We have talked about the process, how long it takes to pull out one miner, how deep the hole is, where the miners have been all this time, why they are wearing dark glasses, what happened that trapped them down there in the first place, why they were down there in the first place, what copper is and what it is used for, where Chile is, just to name a few things. The camera in the mine was great. It really helped them envision what is down there. It is refreshing to be able to let them watch the coverage without too much worry about it being sensationalized. Even if there are things being said they shouldn't hear, they are being said in Spanish, so the kids don't understand it anyway!

1 comment:

jugglingpaynes said...

I got all choked up watching the coverage and reading about it in the paper. I am so happy they all came out alive and well. And what lessons from this! It was a true teachable moment!

Peace and Laughter!