The entire province of Xinjiang did not have access to the internet since July 5, 2009 - because of ethnic rioting. We have not been able to "get online" for that entire 10 months within our province. We have gone through times of frustration, apathy, disconnectedness, and plain annoyance all along the way. Simple tasks like calling "home" were even cut off. Our families can attest to the challenges, as they tried to call internationally for days/weeks/months, without being able to get through. We resigned to living isolated and globally uninformed. But that is all behind us now!! As of today, May 14th, 2010 - our internet has been restored!!
I doubted that this day would ever come, mostly so I wouldn't get my hopes up! We got phone calls from friends all morning to spread the news! I cannot tell you how excited we were - it has been a loooooong time! Technology has become so basic to our everyday life, that its hard to imagine life without it. It felt like we were living in the stone age. We are SO grateful to have it back!!
I can honestly say that I learned a lot during this "wilderness experience" and that I do appreciate having this time of hiatus (for a season). We found we had so much TIME on our hands - to play, read, visit, create! It brought perspective and rest. But now that we have access again, we definitely appreciate connecting with family & friends in a new way. I am thankful for the small things in life - being able to google anything to find answers at the touch of a button. I am glad to finally see pictures of friends' babies, my growing niece, and share pictures in return. We love being able to call via Skype and see out family over the webcam! Such simple pleasures!! I think I will still continue to limit myself, striving to maintain the balance of life in-and-of the glorious internet.