Monday, October 29, 2012

International Friends: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Spending the last 12 years in 5 different countries has spread out our friendship base.  We have friends and family all over the world, in every continent except one, Antarctica.  This has wonderful benefits.  Almost anywhere we travel we know someone, get insider tips and sometimes free places to stay.  It broadens our awareness of the world, especially our children's (remember The Olympics: Withdrawal and Identity Crisis?).  Today, with things like Facebook, Skype, email, and airplanes 1,000 miles is nothing but a mouse-click away.

On the contrary, something bad happens somewhere in the world everyday.  The more dispersed your friends are, the more likely something bad is going to happen to them.  Riots in Eygpt?  Our DC renter's from last year now live in Cairo.  War zones?  Almost 10% of our colleagues work in one. Earthquake in Canada?  Our good friend and dog sitter from our first post in Mexico lives there.  Hurricane in Cuba, DC, NYC?    Best friends from Guate are now in Cuba; DC is our homebase; and NYC, someone from everywhere lives there :).  Tsunami in Hawaii?  Got it covered.  My husband's college mates live there.  And so it goes.

Each day when the news blares its tragedies, we flip through our mental rolodex, searching for our connection.  When we find them, which we almost always do, we send an email, a message, a phone call, to see if they are all right.  We still haven't heard from our friends in Cuba.  If you, by chance read this, S & T, please let us know if you are okay.  If someone has by chance heard from them and can pass on the news, please do.

Our world is a whole lot smaller than most people's.  Global connections are not just virtual for us.  Although I love the "We are the World"- feel of it all, I sure wish the world was an inherently more peaceful place.  But it's not.  That's why most of us are out here, doing what we do, so "[other's] lives will be stronger and free."

To our friends in harm's way,
Hang in there and stay strong.  Please know we're thinking of you.

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