Right before I left for Ethiopia I watched a TED talk confronting one of the problems of our modern world, 70% of people do not have an accurate address. It never much occured to me because i have always had an address. Since I was old enough to remember, I know each of my addresses: 13 Rockne St., 3412 Country Club, Baylor Martin Dormitory, Baylor Brooks Dormitory, Quadrangle Apartments (5th and Daughtry), Brookview Hills Apt. (Brookview & 34th), 4218 Worth Forest Dr, 4204 Glen Ridge Dr., 802 Dressen, 1179 Oval. I received mail at each of these places. People could find me.
Most of the world does not have this luxury. They live at a place, but it has no street name, no address, no governing organization. How do you find someone without an address? They live in a slum, down some forgotten rural road. Their house is made of cardboard and tin, the roof is a plastic sheet.
Enter, what3words. This company decided that the whole world could be conceived of as over a trillion squares each about 3m by 3m. Each of these squares could be uniquely addressed by just three words. Instead of a cumbersome longitude and latitude system, just three simple words.
I looked up my home. 135 different squares identify my house and lot. questions,contour.stats defines the place where I put the garbage can for collection. flourish.unforeseen.screen is my front door. dream,incense.landlord is the swing in the backyard.
While I was in Ethiopia, I marked different locations. The church where we held the GLS was hard to find. Last year we got lost, this year we got lost. Never again. The front door of the church is located and seatbelt.hopefully.sharp. One of my favorite coffee shops is located at quiet.strange.gathering. We were sitting on the edge of Lake Tana watching the birds and listening the laughter of families and the three word location was horizons.riches.universal.
I had so much fun trying to find the right three words linked with the right place. We were walking down a hiking trail and came to a place identified and lawmaker.brambles.astounded. I thought to myself, "Yes, that is true."
The what3words app and map is free. Anyone can use it. Business are starting to use it. Pizza delivery companies are using it. Three countries in Africa are using it to deliver mail. Travel companies are using it to direct people off the beaten path. Its uses seem endless.
The goal is to be found. I kept hunting for my favorite listings. If I could switch right now, I wish I could have a square deep in the Alaskan wilderness. It's a place designated lost.found.saved. I am so glad God knew right where to find me.