Truly,amp,#34,World-Wide,Web,L DIY It Truly Is a "World-Wide" Web
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Let me tell you a quick story that started way back in1962...An Idaho farm boy stepped off an airplane in the CentralAmerican country of Belize (then colonial British Honduras)as one of the first Peace Corps volunteers. He carriedlittle more than the clothes on his back and his prizedpossession - a tennis racquet. There he met a Missouri school teacher, fell in love, gotmarried, and 5 years later yours truly appeared on thescene. Fast-forward a little over 4 decades and see just how muchthe Internet has impacted the entire planet.**Last week my family took a cruise for our summer vacation.Since the itinerary included Belize, my parents planned totake the opportunity to renew friendships and show us theirold haunts. On the surface it seemed simple enough, but as the weekprogressed I realized just how much the Internet permeatesour lives, no matter which part of the world we call home.Once a day for the entire week I checked my email onboardship. Despite the $.50 a minute cost to use their satelliteconnection, it never ceased to amaze me that I couldinstantly communicate with business associates via emailfrom the middle of the ocean. But the most amazing thing happened when my father got anemail onboard ship from one of his old friends, who alsohappens to be the first Prime Minister of Belize, Mr.George Price. Before we left on our trip, my dad let Mr. Price's officeknow he would visit the country briefly and wondered if wecould stop by for a few minutes just to say hello. On Tuesday my father got an email through the ship's officethat Mr. Price wanted to meet us at his office on Friday.Just think about that for a second... One man in another country tracked down my father hundredsof miles out to sea on a ship simply by knowing how to usethe Internet.**Upon arriving at Mr. Price's office we met not only withMr. Price, but also with the editor and senior reporter ofone of the nation's two major newspapers, The Belize Timeshttp://www.belizetimes.bzApparently my parent's return after 40 years rated quite anews story since the Peace Corps and similar organizationsplayed a vital role in helping the fledgling nation takehold. When I asked if we could get a copy of the article, thereporter told me it would appear on the Internet next week!It turns out they not only publish their newspaper inprint, but also publish most of each edition online sofriends of Belize all over the world can keep up withcurrent events. These dedicated newspaper people manage to publish anentire weekly newspaper and distribute content not onlynationally, but internationally via the Internet.They literally use the power of the Internet to influencethe course of an entire nation. Even more amazing, information technology allows them to doit all without a huge staff or massive budget.But to bring it back to a more personal level, uponarriving back at the port to catch our ship, our tour guidehanded me her card and said, "Here's my card. When you oryour friends come back to Belize, email me and we'll makeall the arrangements for you."Wow! Now that's the power and reach of the Internet to impactpeople's lives on so many levels and draw us all closertogether as one global community - one person at a time.