08 January 2008


For 18 months of the three and half years I lived in Jamaica (in an isolated one-room house I built in the bush near Guava Walk, a village in St. James Parish, near Montego Bay) and for the four and half months I lived in a bark house in the rain forest of Costa Rica (on the Atlantico side, close to the coast, near Sixoala), I lived without electricity and running water. Their absence is fairly easy to deal with, especially the absence of electricity. Hey! Did not tens of thousands of us learn this here on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?

But, it is one matter to be simmering in the summer city without water, waiting, hoping, for the bottles to be delivered in the midst of calamity; and another to live in the bush or rain forest with your usual source of water within walking distance. Besides, in Jamaica, but not Costa Rica, I had a good, really good, radio set (Radio Cayman [Islands] was a favorite station.) I learned firsthand how important radio is to the nonliterate world. Now, with Internet, living in isolation would not be so isolated. So, sign me up to live in one of the seven named deserts of the Outback (as long as I was connected to the Web). I know people today who do not have a microwave. In fact, one lives with me. In fact, he is typing this at this very mo....

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