Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Staying Connected

My brother Jack and I were talking the other day, and he told me about JaJah, an online service for making cheap international calls. Using JaJah, most calls between the United States and Western Europe are about 3 cents a minute (US domestic calls are 2.8 cents/min). Calls from the United States to Romania (or vice versa) are about 10 cents per minute--still pretty cheap. It's even cheaper than Skype--they charge 12.4 cents/min for international calls to Romania. The only catch is that, like Skype, you need an internet connection to use JaJah. However, unlike Skype, you get to use a regular phone, which is pretty cool. In any case, I thought it was an interesting alternative to calling cards, especially if you're calling Western Europe (actually, calls to some countries are free between registered JaJah users--like the US, England, France, Germany, Sweden, China, Australia, and several others!!) .

How it works: You create an account with Once you've registered, you can purchase credits (or not, in which case they'll bill you for the minutes you use at a later date). Then you place a call by entering your phone number and the number of the person you'd like to call on their webpage. JaJah will call your phone and then begin dialing the other person. Jack and I tried it, and it seems pretty dandy. Check it out.

In other news, this blog is now listed in the Peace Corps Journals directory. You can visit there to read the weblogs of other Peace Corps volunteers around the world. In fact, I was inspired to start my own blog only after reading the blogs of PCV's currently in Romania.


Anonymous said...

Isn't Skype free if you're both using the client though?

Or maybe they changed it.

Mike M.

Amanda said...

I'm going with you! I got my invitation this week. I am also going to be teaching English and my staging starts May 15, 2007. I'd been hoping I would come across someone else that was going online. Its nice to see someone else having difficulties deciding what to pack. I have thought of little else the last couple days. I wish I knew more about where I will be living. Anyway, I guess I will see you in about 6 1/2 weeks!

Mike said...

Hey Amanda, congrats!

email me at so we can keep in touch during the coming weeks.

freeheelnut said...

Hi Mike,

Congratulations on joining the Peace Corps! If you could not tell by reading our blog, we are having the time of our life so far in Romania. Hopefully, we will get to meet you at some point.

With regard to your question about the backpack, I packed 2 packs. The one you saw in the picture, which is 5500 cubic inches. I checked this bag and did not have any problems with the straps and so forth. I have not used it for hiking yet, but I hope to some time soon. The smaller pack is about about 2100 cubic inches. I have used this one a lot. The one suggestion I do have, is for the smaller pack not to have an internal frame. Ours does and it is a little bulky, which has prevented us from packing in our duffel.

Either way, I definitely suggest bringing your backpacks as luggage especially if you plan to hike. You'll regret it if you don't.

Good luck in your preparations! Email me at if you have other questions.