When I was little and we lived in the Philippines, I believe we had a telephone in our home for maybe a year. We shared it, if I remember right, with our next door neighbors. I think we could make international calls from it, but if so they cost a fortune. Kraig tells stories of his family flying from their remote village in Africa to the capital of Central African Republic in order for his parents to make a five-minute call overseas on one of the two trans-Atlantic lines available there. Even as late as our college years when we were dating long distance Kraig and I relied on posted letters and expensive phone calls. Email was just getting off the ground.
Times have changed, that's for sure. I realize there are parts of the world where communication is still difficult and costly, but it is amazing how easy it is in so many places. Of the frustrations we've faced in our move here to Guadalajara, technological communication has not been one of them. Our apartment had a strong internet connection in place when we came and within minutes of arriving we could Skype and FaceTime family and friends. Face-to-face, instantaneous communication. For free. We now have a web-based US phone number so if we do need to make a phone call we just pick up the phone and call. Crazy. Absolutely crazy.
Since arriving, my kids have been able to have "play dates" with friends back home. I can have regular conversations with family and friends. Kraig's folks can contact us easily if there are business details back in Michigan we need to take care of. My mom and sisters and I have held four-way text messaging conversations--one of us in Michigan, one in Mexico, one in Singapore, and one in North Carolina. Yesterday my sister Carrie called me on FaceTime and carried me around Hutchmoot so I could say hi to friends there. Can you imagine? I mean, it's positively sci fi!
And yet today I was griping. Something went wrong in the power cord for my computer and while Kraig fixed it I was limited (limited!) to my iPad. I'm writing on it now, because though the cord is fixed, the glue on the case needs to set. This means I can't upload pictures or check my email or access this, that and the other thing. Horrors. And it will be fine by tomorrow. Oh no, one day lost.
I find myself lamenting things I'm missing, too. Hutchmoot is definitely one of those things right now. It has been absolutely wonderful to see updates and photos and video clips as the conference progresses. In some ways I feel like I have almost been there. And I can honestly say I am thrilled with the joy and beauty my friends there are experiencing. It's just I'm really not there. Then there is Fall in Michigan--oh, the photos! Such beauty. I love it. I can almost smell it. I love seeing my friends and their kids carving pumpkins and eating donuts and drinking apple cider. But I miss it. I am missing it. I will never have experienced this particular October in that part of the world.
This back and forth of joy and sorrow has made me wonder if the easy accessibility to "home" makes it better or worse for adjusting to a new home. I certainly don't have an answer to this because I live in a time and place where I do have this access. I'd love to hear from family and friends who made this kind of move back when there weren't these options. I can imagine that that would have had its own set of pain and pleasure. Is one better? What was it like? I would love to hear your stories.
In the meantime I will continue to figure out how to make these worlds meet and see how God will make it beautiful.
And maybe sometime soon someone will invent teleportation.