Last night I called Tree. Now while that might not seem unusual, let me describe the situation:

I am in Atlanta.
Tree is in the Dominican Republic.
I picked up my cell phone, dialed her Chicago area phone number, and talked to her.

How the internet has changed “international”! She and Daniel have Vonage, so they have a local phone number to their parents, which means I can call her on my cell phone and not worry about massive international charges. I think it’s pretty cool myself.

When we first moved to Peru in ’92, we sent hand-written letters to our friends and family in the States, and talked on the phone occasionally. When we returned to Peru after furlough in 1996, Internet was just coming out. “Email” was a new thing, and I kept in touch with Beth electronically – when she was “Funky Fred”. :-) (Remember that, Beth?) That was before we had our own email accounts. I had to walk to my dad’s office to send emails, and I had no clue what the internet was.

During high school, I not only discovered my own email but I also discovered Instant Messaging and ICQ. I was able to meet Beth online and chat about life. My senior year, we even hooked up Net2Phone, and were able to call phones in the states using our computer and a microphone. When I went to college, I discovered the joy of phone cards and was thrilled to be able to call my family. Then I got a cell phone with free long distance – I don’t even have to dial 1 before the area code!

How times have changed. Now I can talk to my former roommate who is on an island in the Caribbean as if she was next door. I can dial Paul (who has an Atlanta cell phone) from my landline. I can email, IM, blog, even write letters if I want! :-) Technology has made loved ones who are far away seem closer.

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