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It Truly Is a

By Jim Edwards
Posted Thursday, November 25, 2004

Let me tell you a quick story that started way back in 1962...

An Idaho farm boy stepped off an airplane in the Central American country of Belize (then colonial British Honduras) as one of the first Peace Corps volunteers. He carried little more than the clothes on his back and his prized possession - a tennis racquet.

There he met a Missouri school teacher, fell in love, got married, and 5 years later yours truly appeared on the scene.

Fast-forward a little over 4 decades and see just how much the 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 to take the opportunity to renew friendships and show us their old haunts.

On the surface it seemed simple enough, but as the week progressed I realized just how much the Internet permeates our lives, no matter which part of the world we call home.

Once a day for the entire week I checked my email onboard ship. Despite the $.50 a minute cost to use their satellite connection, it never ceased to amaze me that I could instantly communicate with business associates via email from the middle of the ocean.

But the most amazing thing happened when my father got an email onboard ship from one of his old friends, who also happens to be the first Prime Minister of Belize, Mr. George Price.

Before we left on our trip, my dad let Mr. Price's office know he would visit the country briefly and wondered if we could stop by for a few minutes just to say hello.

On Tuesday my father got an email through the ship's office that 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 hundreds of miles out to sea on a ship simply by knowing how to use the Internet.

Upon arriving at Mr. Price's office we met not only with Mr. Price, but also with the editor and senior reporter of one of the nation's two major newspapers, The Belize Times (

Apparently my parent's return after 40 years rated quite a news story since the Peace Corps and similar organizations played a vital role in helping the fledgling nation take hold.

When I asked if we could get a copy of the article, the reporter told me it would appear on the Internet next week!

It turns out they not only publish their newspaper in print, but also publish most of each edition online so friends of Belize all over the world can keep up with current events.

These dedicated newspaper people manage to publish an entire weekly newspaper and distribute content not only nationally, but internationally via the Internet.

They literally use the power of the Internet to influence the course of an entire nation.

Even more amazing, information technology allows them to do it all without a huge staff or massive budget.

But to bring it back to a more personal level, upon arriving back at the port to catch our ship, our tour guide handed me her card and said, "Here's my card. When you or your friends come back to Belize, email me and we'll make all the arrangements for you."


Now that's the power and reach of the Internet to impact people's lives on so many levels and draw us all closer together as one global community - one person at a time.

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About the Author
Author and co-author of several highly successful ebooks, including "How to Write and Publish your own eBook... in as littl as 7 Days" ( Writes a syndicated offline Newspaper Column - ( - focusing on ebooks, tips, tricks, expert interviews, & more!


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