It wasn't too long ago that we used to write letters. As a child I was taught to write 'thank you' letters after Christmas or a birthday, and I still do. They are now almost the only personal letters I ever write. Even in my work letters make up now about 5% of the communication I do, with email and the telephone doing the rest.
When I left home and moved to Hull, a great deal of my time was spent re-living my experience for the sake of others, as I wrote it down in a letter, and even when training in Bristol I would write regular letters home to keep in touch. Now with the internet and mobile phones we are brought much closer to our families and friends as we can text and email as much or as little as we like. I do feel, though, that we probably communicate less in that way of our thoughts and feelings and what we have been doing. The letters kept from grandparents and relatives no longer alive are all the more treasured. Perhaps in a way the blog has become our public letter home?
I am glad that my parents, although now in their 70s have embraced new technology - the mobile phone may not be switched on very often, but at least they have one and my dad looks at his emails everyday. My sister and I still each have a ritual phone call with my mum once a week and keep in touch ourselves by email and phone. It's amazing how things have moved on.
In Zimbabwe unemployment is estimated at 94%, forcing many people to live miles from home to find work to support their families. For many there are little means of communication. This week I have been in touch with my family (parents and sister) by letter (or card), email and phone and therefore today give 60p to Christian Aid for being able to do so.