2006.07.04: July 4, 2006: Headlines: COS - Chile: Internet: Technology: Charleston Daily Mail: Evadna Bartlett writes: As I gather memorabilia for next week's reunion of the Peace Corps group that went to Chile in 1961, I'm almost startled by the technological changes that have occurred in less than half a century

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Chile: Peace Corps Chile : The Peace Corps In Chile: 2006.07.04: July 4, 2006: Headlines: COS - Chile: Internet: Technology: Charleston Daily Mail: Evadna Bartlett writes: As I gather memorabilia for next week's reunion of the Peace Corps group that went to Chile in 1961, I'm almost startled by the technological changes that have occurred in less than half a century

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Evadna Bartlett writes: As I gather memorabilia for next week's reunion of the Peace Corps group that went to Chile in 1961, I'm almost startled by the technological changes that have occurred in less than half a century

Evadna Bartlett writes: As I gather memorabilia for next week's reunion of the Peace Corps group that went to Chile in 1961, I'm almost startled by the technological changes that have occurred in less than half a century

"As I gather memorabilia for next week's reunion of the Peace Corps group that went to Chile that September, I'm almost startled by the technological changes that have occurred in less than half a century."

Evadna Bartlett writes: As I gather memorabilia for next week's reunion of the Peace Corps group that went to Chile in 1961, I'm almost startled by the technological changes that have occurred in less than half a century

On Retirement: ; Peace Corps memories put focus on technology

Jul 4, 2006

Charleston Daily Mail

Forty-five years ago this holiday a federal office notified about 50 applicants that they had been selected to train for a new program called the Peace Corps.

The notification went by telegram.

I know. I still have the Western Union Telegram.

Or rather, I have the second one.

I never saw the first, although I was told it was delivered either on Independence Day or very close to it, to the downstairs apartment in the renovated home where I lived, but in a second- floor apartment.

The telegram, signed by Director Sargent Shriver, asked me to indicate if I could report for training.

On July 20, 1961, I did.

Now, as I gather memorabilia for next week's reunion of the Peace Corps group that went to Chile that September, I'm almost startled by the technological changes that have occurred in less than half a century.

We take it for granted that our parents' generation was marked by amazing changes, starting with the very earliest cars, crank telephones and ice boxes. But our generation has seen its share as well.

While in training and later in South America, I had almost a compulsion to write about our experiences for anyone back home who would read my ramblings. Apparently there were quite a few.

I had hauled my portable Olympia typewriter with me. It had no correction ribbon. I had no white corrector fluid. I banged away, typos and all, and sent epistles off to my parents, who reproduced the letters for others. But they didn't have the clean, easy-use- copiers of today.

Among the yellowing letters, I found a few of the carbons, those awful smeary, inky sheets used on mimeograph machines that, mercifully, have disappeared from offices.

Almost all communication with family was by mail from Chiloe, the southern island where I served with three other volunteers. There was an exception.

During breaks we traveled via three short bus rides, launch rides, one across an island river and another to the mainland, and a 21-hour train ride to Santiago. (There was limited air service, but it was a bit beyond our financial means.) And on one of those breaks radio hams in the city and in the United States gave us a treat. We talked to our parents by radio and phone.

Now, volunteers like many of our soldiers around the world communicate frequently and easily via e-mail.

At the time of our last reunion in 2001, one of our group was a director of Peace Corps in Kirbati, a nation of islands in the South Pacific. Using electronic mail, we set up a time. Then all of us chatted with him on a telephone conference call.

Now the challenge is to keep up with new technology as it is introduced. That's especially true in retirement, when we are not forced by job demands to do so.

My first flash drive sat for probably two months before I got up my courage to start using it.

Charleston resident Becky Ross recently told me her book group had decided to focus on new technology during one meeting. That was after they discovered few of them had used iPods, Nanos, instant messaging; few had recorded on DVDs or the like.

She didn't even get through her list before losing me.

Perhaps my grandchildren can help me catch up.





When this story was posted in July 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:


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Story Source: Charleston Daily Mail

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Chile; Internet; Technology

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