Friday, February 28, 2014

a digital revolution (and revelation)

It all starts like this:
I joined the Peace Corps in 2004. I didn't bring a digital camera with me. I didn't have an iPod, iPads weren't invented yet, and I didn't have a laptop. I brought the following gadgets to reside with me in my rural Honduran village for two years:
- CDs (music, media, and blank)
- a portable CD player
- a 35mm film camera
- 4 books

While in Honduras, I acquired the following:
- a digital camera (to replace the film one I had lost during a boozy night at the Mangosta)
- a flash drive (to replace the CDs that melted. yes, CDs melt in the Carribean heat)
- a portable DVD player and pirated DVDs from the street vendors in Tegucigalpa
- a cell phone (there were some family emergencies that I felt necessitated a cheap Honduran cell phone)
- a bicycle (which was stolen when I lent it to a friend)

A typical afternoon spent in my house in Gualaco, Honduras

No technology needed to color, draw, and paint (circa 2005)

In 2014, I head to Mexico for one month with the following technological devices:
- an iPhone (4s, so not totally up to date)
- an iPod (the nano 6th generation is a runner's dream gadget)
- an iPad (that I bought for cheap off Craigslist)
- an Ultrabook (Acer Aspire)
- a DSLR camera and 4 lenses
- 2 physical books for reading (I don't do the Kindle thing, which I'll get to later)

- 3 Harry Potter books in Spanish (for the libraries).
- I plan to pick up a TelCel Sim card while in Mexico (I'm job interviewing & don't want to miss a call)

- a UV water filter

What does all this mean? In a period of 10 years, I've gone digital. And not just digital, but to the cloud. Gone are my physical DVDs. By the wayside are my jump drives. All my documents are on Dropbox. And Google Drive. And iCloud. And on my external hard drive. It's all virtually there, right at my fingertips. Where are all my old, useless (I deem them as having no use) gadgets? Given away to the lovely people of Honduras, thrown away, or, hopefully, recycled. 

I'm heading to Mexico in two weeks to install computers into libraries spread throughout the Yucatan. I'm setting up libraries (my very favorite places on earth, which are filled with books) with computers. Why? I don't know. But, armed with my gadgets, I'm ready to find out.


  1. Muy buena suerte en sus viajes.

  2. So cool! Should be an amazing adventure. You didn't ask for advice, so forgive me: (1) Charles Schwab bank's free checking is fee-free overseas and even refunds foreign ATM fees and (2) you don't do the Kindle thing. I have a library - on my Kindle, and it's so handy for travel! I use it more for long web articles than for books. (3) Geekiness if you're into it: Google Voice phone number that you can forward to a number that forwards to your local number, anywhere in the world. Pretty handy. Happy travels!