On Monday morning around 11AM one July morning in 2009, our doorbell rang and when I answered the door, there was Hamburg Fire Chief Brad Droege. I invited Chief Droege into our home and he advised me that the Public Television crew from Hamburg, Germany that has been in town for the last week, was doing some more 'filming' for the documentary it is making about our town. I told Chief Droege that I'd throw on a shirt and pair of shoes and go to where the film crew was.
I drove down to Bi-Centennial Park and found one of the film crews members, Yared Terfa Dibaba, seated at one of the tables under the canopy. I also noted that he was seated before a laptop computer on the picnic table and was wearing a set of headphones. I also noticed some sort of 'duffel bag' sitting on the table next to his laptop computer.
I approached Yared slowly so as to not interrupt whatever it was that he was doing. As I approached him, he removed his headphones and I introduced myself to him. I told him that it was my understanding that he and his film crew were 'in town' taking some pictures of our city.He began telling me in detail who he was, why they were here and what they were doing. Not wanting to 'miss the moment', I interrupted him and asked if I could return home and pick up my tape recorder and then record our conversation. He assured me that would be O.K.
As I was on my way back to Bi-Centennial Park with my recorder, I encountered the other members of the film crew in front of the Hamburg Post Office. I parked my car and took some pictures of them filming the Post Office as well as filming John Schultz; a long time Hamburg (Minnesota) resident. A few more pictures, a brief conversation with the film crew and with John, I was off to Bi-Centennial Park to record my conversation with Yared.
Yared was a very cordial person as well as very interesting to listen to; I'm glad I had the presence of mind to record what he was saying so I can share it with all of you. He and his crew have been in the Hamburg area for about ten days filming the Fire Department, the Hamburg Hawks Baseball field, a local church; things like that. At the conclusion of today's filming, they'll be 'editing' everything that they filmed and make a forty-five minute presentation about our town that will be seen on Public Television in Hamburg (Germany).
Besides a wonderful conversation with Yared,the other thing I found to be most interesting was that when I originally approached him, he was talking from Hamburg (Minnesota), via the Internet, to his son back in Hamburg (Germany). It was just after noon here and just past 7PM over there and Yared's son had just finished eating his supper and was preparing for bed.
I asked Yared how he was able to 'connect' to the Internet from Bi-Centennial Park; thinking he was subscribing to Verizon's or Sprint's or AT&T's Internet service. You can't begin to imagine my surprise when Yared told me that he opened his laptop under the canopy at Bi-Centennial Park, 'searched' for a wireless Internet connection, found one and then logged onto the Internet. I asked Yared if he knew which Internet connection he was logged on with. He provided me with the wireless Internet 'identifier' and I was absolutely astounded when I learned that he was accessing the Internet using the equipment installed on the roof of our house by www.tothehome.com; the company installing the WIRELESS HIGH SPEED INTERNET SERVICE to serve the City of Hamburg and the surrounding area !!
That 'made my day' ! Hamburg (Minnesota) communicating with Hamburg (Germany) using the WIRELESS HIGH SPEED INTERNET SERVICE that I've been 'promoting' for several months !! And the system isn't anywhere near 'fully operational' yet ! No amount of careful planning beats dumb luck.
I took a bunch of pictures Monday afternoon and am pleased to share them with all of you. There are more coming so please check back to this Webpage frequently. I hope to have the rest of them posted before week's end.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience talking with Yared and learning about him, his company, what they do and where they've been. I only wish I had had more time to spend with him and his crew; they were warm and wonderful people and thoroughly enjoyed our little town. As you'll hear from listening to what I recorded, the 'documentary about Hamburg (Minnesota) will be edited down to about 45 minutes and then broadcast on Hamburg (Germany) Public Television and simultaneously 'streamed' on their Internet Website. Everything contained in their 'documentary' will be spoken in German and a DVD (in German) will be available for purchase on their Website (http://www3.ndr.de/sendungen/die_welt_op_platt/index.html).
Hope you enjoy the pictures and the interview on this Webpage. It's available 24/7, it's free and it didn't cost the taxpayers of Hamburg one penny of their hard-earned dollars to design and publish on the Internet.
I hope that you enjoy my interview with Yared and the pictures that I took associated with this historic visit to our small City in the state of Minnesota from our much larger 'Sister City' in the country of Germany. ENJOY !!