It's been 2 -1/2 weeks since we left MN and I am homesick. Not homesick like I was when I left for Europe when I was 16, but homesick nonetheless. When I was 16, I was with a school trip, had a few calls home and a few postcards that I mailed out. I felt like I was on the moon, everything seemed so different.
This time around, we are the grounding force for our daughter, we are home for her. We've been here before as well and are comfortable with the area, people and atmosphere. The main reason that our homesickness is kept at bay though is because of our great connection to home through techology. The same stuff that allows us to live and work abroad allows us an unbelievable connection to our family and friends in the US that wasn't possible just a few years ago.
Facebook has been amazing. Nothing like having a network of your freinds and family seeing your photos and reading your updates on a daily basis. Not like waiting for a letter or postcard via airmail anymore.
While we use email, it is simply not the main tool of communication anymore. We use it for specific notes to family members or to communicate links to a group that may not be on facebook.
Youtube has been the main tool for posting video and sharing with people, via facebook or email. One thing I don't like about Youtube is when sending a video marked as private (viewable by only 25 people who you send the link to) those people have to set up an account to view the link. Seems like an unnecessary step. The link should be enough, in my opinion. For example, we sent a private video to family with information about the house we will be living at.
Skype for video calls to the grandparents and possibly even to have Easter dinner with the family in MN. We'll see how that goes! We gave 4 webcams to family for Christmas so we can keep in touch. It was a great gift that allows us at least to see each other in real time. Quality is great and will just keep getting better. We're currently using Skype with our wireless connection at the hotel so we can't wait to try it with a wired line at the house! Not quite like being there, but it's the closest we've got.