I remember it well. It was 1999 and I was on my first mission trip. We spent two weeks in Russia, conducting an English camp for college students. In two weeks, I was able to find a phone exactly once. I called home and talked to my parents for a few minutes.
Even that seemed surreal. There was a very real sense in which I almost felt like a different person - like the world on this side of the ocean was a dream or something. So little communication made it seem like a million miles. It was such a disconnected feeling. Even the 3rd anniversary of my sister's fatal accident seemed almost unreal.
That's how important context is.
And how different things are today. As I write this, I am in my hotel room in Bermuda after a long day of meetings. (Yeah, I know...it's rough.) And I am on my computer writing a blog post. After talking to my dad on my cell phone. And "texting" with my sister by means of the Words with Friends messaging function. And following the Alabama basketball game through my Twitter feed. I can even surf the web whenever I come across free wifi (but not without it - no international 3G for me).
Yep, hardly disconnected. Such a different feeling from that fortnight in Russia. So different from my first trip here about ten years ago. How the world has changed.
It's a small, small world.