Thanks to modern technology Billie Jo and I been able to keep in contact with our friends and family quite easily while in Moscow. Contacting each other this time around has gone much better than when Billie Jo was last in Russia in 2006. Back then we had to use a calling card system. We did not have a laptop, so even if there was Wi-Fi available it would not have been a significant help.
Now we have a laptop and WiFi in our own apartment - the reception can get spotty at times, but in general it works pretty well. We can email each other friends and family and keep track of bills and other mundane tasks on-line.
Facebook has also been a great tool for us, despite it's shortcomings related to security and privacy issues we have found it quite useful to contact our friends back home and monitor their activities. One of the things that we have been monitoring is the pregnancy of one of Billie Jo's friends - she was due the day I left for Russia but her pregnancy has run a bit long. Well we finally found out today that they had a healthy baby boy. Mom Dad and Baby are all doing fine - Congrats to all.
And finally we have joined the world of Skype.
Skype was an economical way for Billie Jo and I to keep in touch before my arrival in Moscow. It also has some other unique features like video calling, conferencing and games you can play with whomever your talking too.