Dr. Vincent DeGennaro Jr. '02 | December 10, 2014
When I first arrived in rural Honduras in 2002, communication with the outside world was severely limited, and I relished the solitude. Living off of the grid, hidden in plain sight from all the demands of modern times, was truly liberating. Ten years later, I’m suffocated by the ubiquity of electronic communication, but grateful that it allows us to connect to friends globally, minimizing the distance felt despite geographical constraints.
Then, email was slowly becoming a regular form of communication — my parents had just obtained an email addresses that summer so that we could connect with each other. I had only just purchased my first cell phone in the US, and very few people in Honduras had cell phones at that point so it was unnecessary to have one there.
Once a week, I’d travel 30 minutes by bus to the city of Comayagua to check email and place international phone calls. My email at the time, email@example.com, was so flooded with spam that I would spend an hour of time purchased at the internet café merely deleting emails intended for others. To connect with family, I had to visit special calling centers that offered a plastic phone booth from which to call home. I’d speak to each parent for five minutes or so, conscious of the clock as I watched the pricey minutes tick by.
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