Thursday, September 15, 2005

Crazy Americans with no Internet

September 14, 2005

Americans (USA) are addicted to the Internet. I am too. We are so used to having it at our fingers tips that we do not know what to do without it. I have been sitting in an air-conditioned computer lab at FLACSO, La Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, and have watched every American student come in here, annoyed and impatient about not having Internet access.

I admit that the Internet has delayed my meeting with the director of the hospital today because my laptop does not have any disk drive, CD drive, or other external drives. Thus, I can only save documents on to the computer’s hard drive and if I want to print something, I have to send my documents to myself via email. I will live though.

However, this whole ordeal has made me think about how Americans are used to so many unnecessary luxuries. For example, during my first week in the Dominican Republic, I showered in the dark with a bucket of water. Thankfully, I had spent summers in Antigua while growing up, which humbled me, and made me used to living in such conditions. After taking my bucket baths, I realized how much water I had left. Yet, we take long showers in the USA just because we can. Sadly, we can do many things than many other countries cannot do.

Besides that, I went to a presentation entitled: Answers to Globalization in Small Countries: Dominican Republic in a Regional Context. Dr. Sanchez Ancochea of the University of London gave the presentation and compared Costa Rica to the Dominican Republic. I was particularly interested in the how much less Dominican Republic spends on health and education in comparison to Costa Rica. Dr. Sanchez Ancochea expressed that the Dominican Republic, or any other country, will not progress or develop as well without investing more in the health and education of their citizens. Therefore, my work here seems imperative—a health education initiative preventing unwanted teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Other than that, all is going well here. I am enjoying myself and slowly am getting used to being called a researcher.


Blogger maeve said...

Hi Dena,

I came across your blog after seeing your quote in the latest Middlebury College magazine (Fall 2005). I am an alum of The Spanish School at Middlebury College (class of 2003) and am currently at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

While at Harvard, I am working on a research project about digital literacy in Latin America. I wondered how your experience in the Dominican Republic has opened your eyes to the availability (or lack thereof) of the Internet. What is the emotional impact on the Americans studying there? How many Dominican Republicans actually have access to the Internet (at home or elsewhere)? If you're able to shed some light on this topic for me, I would greatly appreciate it!

Buena suerte con tus estudios,


10:15 PM  

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