Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chatting with an English lad

My granddaughter Samantha has a half-brother an ocean away in England.
She's quite intrigued by the thought and when she met him this summer she fell in love with this 4-year-old charmer who speaks in the British mode.
So since it was her birthday Monday and we have newly discovered Skype, we arranged to make a long-distance call to Jack.
It was fairly complicated to figure out since Jack's parents really like this energetic little fellow to go to bed before he turns into an Attack Jack and there's a significant time difference between Utah and the United Kingdom.
To avoid keeping him up too late, we would need to call around noon and since Samantha was back in school we'd have to check her out for a lunchtime phoner.
Samantha liked that idea a lot.
Then we had to find a place for lunch in Spanish Fork where she lives that had free WiFi and drag along our computer and its camera.
The birthday girl
Enterprising grandparents that we are, we worked at the details.
Samantha's parents arranged for us to pick her up, ID in hand.
We drove to McDonald's for WiFi and fries since nobody really wanted lunch at McDonald's, just the Internet access. We needed the access, space and a cooperative Skype account.
It was a task but we did it!
On Jan. 3, Samantha's 11th birthday, at approxmately 12:05 p.m., she was talking from Spanish Fork in the US of A to a wee lad dressed in Buzz Lightyear robes in Cannock, England.
The birthday connection
They made an instant, renewed connection. Samantha was thrilled.
Jack too was delighted, alternately grinning at us, appearing and then disappearing from the screen to fetch another Christmas action figure to show us.
He even softly sang his big sister a birthday song, complete with the accent and the lilt.
It was a marvelous few minutes, something not even thought of a few years ago, something modern technology makes possible without an outrageous cost or having to involve an operator.
I don't know how it works or why but it doesn't matter.
To me, it's like getting on an airplane. Don't know why it works. Not sure it should but it's great.

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