Six years ago, the Chronicle of Higher Education named a journalism scholarship after my friend David W. Miller, who was killed by a drunk driver. The latest recipient is Sam Laird of UC-Santa Cruz. Sounds like he’s in good spirits despite recent travails:
After graduating he worked at a summer camp and at a restaurant, among other jobs, before he landed an internship at a bilingual newspaper in Quito, Ecuador.
Interviewed by e-mail from Montevideo, Uruguay, Mr. Laird said the job in Ecuador, at the Quito City Paper, seemed to have enough potential that he decided to “roll the dice” and bought only a one-way ticket from California.
“But as it turned out,” he said, “I got to Quito on January 7, and by January 20 the paper was bankrupt.”
So, like any good journalist, he tried to turn the mishap to his own advantage. He traveled around Ecuador, writing for an online travel guide. “South America is quite cheap,” he found, “if you’re smart about it.” Then he used his savings to continue on to Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and now Uruguay.