Today I met with a recent Reed graduate who has been a long-time fan of Switchboard and inexhaustible evangelist. She was telling me all about her post-graduation trip to Latin America: 30 hour bus rides, the pleasures and perils of staying in hostels, that moment when, with $800 crumpled in your hiking boots it crosses your mind that maybe you should change your ticket and go home early. She walked me through every city and town and then she got to Buenos Aires. Everything clicked. She found an English speaking comrade, a community of friends. She found a jiu-jitsu studio and worked out a trade with the owner: she'd clean the gym in exchange for classes. So what changed? Was there some pivotal moment? And then she said something that embodies what Switchboard stands for.
I think this is the engine that has powered anything that is good.