Saturday, August 13, 2011

Technology Cometh.

Let's take a journey back in 2007.

On second hand. Let's not. My hair was crazy back then.

Anyway, as previously mentioned (see this blog post [link]), when it comes to PC service, Internet is not as uncommon as one would think. Of course, when you are imagining your next 2 years of Peace Corps-ness, you cannot but help imagine yourself in a small rural location, days away from the nearest telephone. For some reason, your ability to g-chat isn't something you think about.

Of course, as Smart Phones explode around the world, so does your access to the Interwebs and Facebook. Personally, I have a MacBook Air (thanks Liana!), a new-used iPhone, wireless Internet, and a USB-powered mini fan in my house. I definitely did not start out with all this technology (...back in my day,you had to walk 30 minutes to the nearest Internet cafe), but over the last 3 years, I have watched the technology boom BOOM in Azerbaijan.

It has been rocky, learning how to regulate my Internet usage with my interest and want to effectively integrate into my community, but I think I have navigated it pretty well. It helps that nobody else has a personal computer or Smart Phone, so I only use this stuff when I am at home.

Which brings me to my point: few, if any, locals has access to the level of technology a PCV does. It is easy to think that a PCV is living in the life of luxury with their wireless Internet and their iPhones, but when your power goes off every day and keeping your Internet on requires hours of weird negotiating and palm greasing...well, it is easy to remember this is developing country. I still use a hole in the ground and I am often without running water. Most days, I have to figure out how to use a liter of milk because the power ain't on and it is so hot inside my apartment I consider cooking an egg on the window sill.

Just because a PCV has an iPhone does not mean they have the ability to charge it. It is still hard out here for a PCV (movie reference!).