We've been here almost 3 months now. That's a quarter of a year!
In that time there have been many significant life events happening for friends and family. Parents of good friends of mine have died, there have been weddings, births and literally everything in between. And we've missed it all!
In fact just this last weekend, one of my cousins got married, another went wedding dress shopping for next year, my best friend throughout school announced she was expecting her fourth baby and another good friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl!
Life goes on at home when you leave it all behind. I use the term 'home' loosely because our family and friends are literally spread out over the world. There is absolutely no way had we been in the UK (our real home country) that we would have been able to be part of all these events anyway as most were spread out enough across the world that it would have been impossible. Being so far removed from everything out here can sometimes feel like we're missing out though.
The reality is, that our family are also achieving all the different milestones here while we're away too. Naomi was born in the States, Abigail started school in Tanzania, to name just two. Those closest to us are missing out on our lives as much as we're missing out on theirs.
The internet has helped us to keep in touch and up-to-date a lot more than the first time I lived here. I didn't even have a email address of my own in those days. Now we're sharing photos backwards and forwards, just minutes after they are taken (like the one of me and my girlies above!). Or talking face-to-face via Skype, something I introduced Maria (our house help) to the other day ... she couldn't believe it was possible!
Missing the milestones is one sacrifice of the missionary lifestyle, that you don't always consider when you're preparing for a life overseas but thanks to modern technology we are no longer so far removed from everything ... or waiting anything from 2 weeks to 2 months or longer for news to arrive via snail mail. Missing out hasn't been something that has adversely affected any of us so far and we're 4 years into our MAF/mission experience as a family and counting, so that's definitely something to be grateful for.
Congratulations to everyone who has been celebrating exciting stuff recently ... we're definitely there in spirit, if not in person!