This evening we attempted our first-ever web-cam chat with the Fishers in Beijing, who’ve been there almost a whole year! David’s computer is configured with a built-in web-cam and microphone, so it’s very easy to use Skype with it. We brought it up to the house and set it up in the living room for the grand event. (It’s a bit odd that we — who often take up new technology very quickly — have been so slow to use Skype… I can’t really explain why it’s been so.)

Because of the two-hour time difference (Beijing is behind us) and the fact that Ella doesn’t get home from daycare until after 6pm her time, I insisted on a “fast-asleep-sleeping” rest-time, and we kept the girls up past their bed-time so they could see their cousins in Beijing. When we last saw each other, Ella was two and Cheryl was pregnant with Amiti. Now both Ella and Brioni are three, and I’m pregnant with Baby D.

Amiti + Cheryl, November 2009
Before Ella got home, we had a good chat with Amiti and Cheryl.

Unfortunately, both Brioni and David fell asleep before 8.30 and missed out on the main chat with Ella, so we’ll have to try again during the daytime. We also received rain at the exact time that we were trying to chat, so I’m afraid Cheryl and Ella probably couldn’t hear us very well. Our tin roof and corrugate skylight gets very loud in a storm.

Amiti, 7 months old, November 2009
At seven months old, Amiti is pulling herself up and keen to play the keyboard!

Ella, 3yo, November 2009
Ella is very confident in using the computer to chat and wanted to know why Aisha wasn't saying anything.

During the transmission, Aisha refused to talk at all, although Calista had no such hesitations, and she figured out very quickly what was going on and was keen to participate.

Aisha, 4yo, November 2009
Aisha sparked to life when she and Ella started showing each other favourite toys (although she still didn't talk).

Calista, 19 months old, November 2009
Cali saw her sister and Ella showing toys and books and decided to get in on the action, collecting her own books and toys and waving them in front of the computer.

It was fantastic to see Cheryl, Ella and Amiti, and given a bit more time (and with gregarious Brioni at her side), I’m sure Aisha would eventually start talking to the camera. We’ll be scheduling another chat very soon (we won’t wait another year) because it would be wonderful for the cousins to stay familiar with each other!