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August 12, 2012

Survival Without a Smart Phone

Sniff.  Goodbye for now Siri.
Today a tragedy occurred.  Not really a tragedy in the grand scale of things.  I lost my iPhone.  After lecturing to all the volunteers about pickpockets and thieves in the Belen Market, I decided to practice what I preached and whittled down all that I needed for the day so that these few items would fit into the pockets of my pants.  These pockets had buttons to secure them.  As we left the volunteer and animal shelter at Cabo Lopez, I retrieved my iPhone for a quick photo, and hustled back into the moto-taxi.  Five moto-taxis left Cabo Lopez in a caravan bound for the Belen Market.  It was a sight to be seen.  Sorry I don't have photo to share!

Riding along a paved sidewalk, then a long stretch of a dusty, dirt road, we reached the highway within 10 minutes.  It was soon after that that I realized my cell phone was gone.  Susan and Megan were sharing my moto-taxi and I scuttled them off to squeeze in with the others.  My driver and I re-traced every bump in the road back to the starting point.  Then we went back over our original path.  I felt numb. 

Anybody that knows me, knows that I am an iPhone addict.  Generally, anything by Apple, I embrace.  I am an "early adopter."  In 1986 I was the only person in my dorm at Emory with a computer, a Mac Plus.  When I finished college and took my first job, we were one of the only offices in Washington, D.C. run completly by Mac computers.  I had owned iPhones and iPads, and right before this trip, I had upgraded to my cherished iPhone4.  Siri and I are dear friends.  That is until I unceremoniously dumped her on a dirt path.

My ever patient boyfriend knew not to speak to me as we walked from the car to the restaurant because I was busy checking into FourSquare.  We would not eat until I had taken photos of the food for FoodSpotting.  I knew all the latest apps and kept all of my friends in the loop.  Whether they wanted to be or not!

Here in Peru, my first phone bill was alarming.  Yet I can't resist posting a photo on Pinterest and then tweeting about it and sharing on Facebook.  And isn't it true that Amazon CARES would not be where we are today were it not for social media?

Then I recalled how frustrated I get with the slow or no Internet here.  I spend hours in an office trying to accomplish something simple.  Google Chrome took 4 hours to download yesterday.

And as I type this I am starting to remember when I first came to Iquitos in 1996.  I LOVED the isolation.  No cell phone.  No computer.  Nobody could reach me.  Up until an hour ago, I was still "always accessible."  Now I'm not.  And though it will be a great challenge for me, I may just rediscover some the original magic that brought me to the Amazon.

Ironically, on a Vet Volunteer Trip in April 2011, I met an actually employee of Apple.  He was, to me, a diety.  Ironically, I don't remember him using his computer (if he carried one) as the rest of us toted iMac's and iPad's around like IV drips we needed to survive.

I want to share memories and experiences, of course.  But what about really experiencing life and making memories?

Rest assured, we'll be blogging as we are able, but, as for now, I'm off the official radar.  Wow this is gonna hurt!