In the two years I’ve been a Peace Corps Volunteer, I’ve gotten used to missing memorable events in my loved ones lives’. I missed my sister’s proms, my dog’s puppies, a few weddings, and even the birth of a couple babies. It doesn’t make me as sad as it did my first year in Ukraine, like when my high school friend Elizabeth was getting married and it felt like everyone was congregating in Ohio for her wedding except for me, who was a million miles away in Ukraine.
Missing major events has gotten more bearable, but when one of these events occurs, its still something that dominants my thoughts the whole day. Like “today in America my dearest friend Raquel is getting married to Jacob and I won’t be there to see what a beautiful bride she’ll be.” Lucky for me, I had a lovely Skype date with Raquel before she tied the knot, so I could see her dress and hear all her plans for the ceremony and honeymoon. Its still not the same as being present for the occasion itself, but its nice to feel included at least.
Another major event that I missed was the birth of my friend Kristin’s first baby, a handsome little guy she named Titus. When I was home for Christmas last year, I attended a wedding in Indiana with my friend Emily, and we got to meet up with Kristin for lunch the next day. Kristin was very newly pregnant then, but there was a certain glow and I totally guessed its source! Titus was born August 1st, and Kristin was having a baby shower in the beginning of September with lots of girls from our college dorm (we all lived on the 4th floor in Bergwall, and are known collectively as “4B”). Lots of my favorite 4th Berg girls were attending, and just hearing about it set off a twinge of homesickness, wishing I could be there to see Kristin’s new little guy and catch up with some of my favorite girls. Emily had a stroke of genius and invited me to join via Skype, so I stayed up late Saturday night waiting for the shower to start in Indiana (stupid time change!).
I haven’t attended many baby showers, because my friends didn’t start reproducing till I left the country, but this one was amazing. So much love and so many friends in one room, plus a very handsome little Titus who slept, woke up and waved at me (or at least, the computer camera that was in front of him), and went back to sleep. I had the honor of being Titus’s first Skype date!
In addition to meeting Titus, which was the main point of the evening, I also got to see Kristin, Stephanie, Laura, Emily, and even Fozzy Bear (who’s real name is Christine but I refuse to call her that). We had such a wonderful time catching up, and I felt like I was really there, albeit two-dimensionally. It was an interesting perspective, being trapped in the computer but still hearing everything! People passed me around to say hi, and it was so good to see people I don’t normally get to Skype with. It was also so fun to see where life has taken everyone in the years since we graduated… time really flies. The transcontinental baby shower also affirmed how grateful I am for the time I had at Taylor University, because I met some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. Thank God for 4th Berg and the friendships we made there!
Maybe I should write Skype a thank-you note when I finish Peace Corps, thanking them for helping me keep my sanity and complete my two years of service. I couldn’t have done it without Skype dates, that’s for sure!
Thanks for reading, sending you all my love.