I got an email this morning from some freelance writer named Laura Vanderkam. She writes for something called The Washington Examiner and is looking to do a piece on “modern communication technology and the Peace Corps.” Here’s the email:
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 11:56:07 -0500
Subject: Peace Corps, blogs
Hello- I came across American Idle in the course of researching a piece I’ve been commissioned to write for the DC Examiner on modern communication technology and the Peace corps. (I’m sending this from my Reader’s Digest account, but this piece is for the Washington Examiner).
It looks like you managed to keep posting on your website during your Peace Corps service. Was that difficult? Or were you in an area that had ready access to the internet?
I’d love to interview you about your experience- let me know if you’d be willing to help with the article-
For all sorts of reasons, I’m not really interested in doing an interview, and I told Laura so and pointed her in the direction of dozens of other PCVs with blogs that will probably all be willing talk about their experiences.
I will say this, and Laura, if you’re reading, feel free to quote at will. Not all Peace Corps countries are the same, but Samoa was fairly well wired up for a developing country. I had internet access at work, at the Peace Corps office and even had a phone installed in my house and could get online whenever I wanted. The connection was often murderously slow, could cut out at anytime and the electric grid wasn’t exactly stable, but it worked well enough for email, posting to a blog and uploading the occasional optimized JPEG. I got most of my news from the web. I bought stuff on Amazon, Half and eBay. I was the victim of a nightmarish identity theft plot. Through the internet and my website, I was in touch with