As I've mentioned before, my brother Matt and sister-in-law Sara are currently volunteering with the Peace Corps. They live in a remote ass village in South Africa, so weekend visits are not exactly an option. Now that I'm pregnant, I know I won't see them again until they return to the United States.
Thank God for email. Even in their remote ass village, Matt and Sara have internet access. Sort of. I recently emailed Matt a link to a one minute video, and Matt responded that he would have to check it the next time they were in a city. Their internet connection can maybe handle a video that is one second long before crashing.
We also exchange text messages, but we are only both awake at the same time for a few hours a day. I've woken Matt with text messages (sorry, dude), so I have to be really careful about the time difference.
Email works best. I can send a more substantive message, and I don't have to worry about the time difference. However, I do have to worry about the content of my emails.
I never just "write and send" an email to Matt or Sara. Oh no, no no no. I write, reread, revise, reread, revise, reread and then hit the send button. I am extra careful with my emails because I don't want to taunt or torment them about my cushy American life.
For some reason, in my emails, I always write about food. I don't write about it much on this blog, but cooking, baking and dining out are a big part of my life. I love food! But if I tell Matt and Sara that I just discovered an amazing recipe for chili, I'm being a bitch. They don't have access to the ingredients for chili, and even if they did, they don't have the means to prep and cook it. (And God forbid I mention a trip to our family's favorite Mexican restaurant. If I want to send Matt to a dark place, I just need to text him the words "El Cholo.")
I try to avoid writing about any inconveniences or nuisances in our life. You can't exactly complain about long lines at the grocery store to Americans who live in a village where the locals eat monkeys. And your ant attack does not sound very impressive if your brother has seen a cobra in his front yard. I recently wrote about 500 words to Sara complaining about a plumbing issue before I remembered that she was taking bucket baths with brown water. My bad. I hit the delete button quickly.
I also try to avoid writing about really awesome stuff, like trips to Disneyland. Again, it makes me feel like a bitch. What am I supposed to write? Hey, guys, we went to Disneyland on Sunday and had so much fun. We went on all our favorite rides and ate a ton of delicious American food THAT YOU CAN'T EAT BECAUSE YOU ARE IN A REMOTE ASS VILLAGE IN SOUTH AFRICA. Ha ha, I hope you had fun taking a shower in brown water while I was riding Space Mountain. I'm going to go to the spa now and get a luxury massage and then I'm going to watch the World Series on our large screen t.v. while eating Mexican food. Gosh, Disneyland is just the best. But sorry, I heard there's a new rule: former Peace Corps volunteers are BANNED from the Disney parks FOREVER. Suck it.
Yeah, no, I can't write that. But if I email about a fun Disneyland trip in excruciating detail, I might as well be writing, I hate you and I hope you get diarrhea from accidentally eating a monkey.
Finally, I can't write about pop culture. Are Matt and Sara really interested in the fact that I think Mindy Kaling's new show is hilarious? Or that Modern Family keeps getting funnier? THEIR INTERNET CONNECTION CANNOT EVEN HANDLE A ONE SECOND VIDEO! If I email about the return of fall t.v., I might as well be writing, I love watching our favorite shows on our big screen t.v. while lounging on our comfy leather couch and eating your favorite foods. Have fun mopping your dirt floors. Suck it.
Yeah, no, I can't write that either.
Now here's my big question: Do I send them the link to this blog post? Or will the thought of Disneyland and El Cholo turn Matt into a tower of rage and destruction? It might be safest to wait until they return to the comforts of modern plumbing.