One of the highlights from our last adoption from Ethiopia was the interaction with everyone back at home. This time we hope to do even a better job of providing updates and sending pictures/video back to allow others to share in the journey with us (this assumes we have internet connections which we've been told we will in both Rwanda and Ethiopia.) Thought I'd share some of the tools we'll use to communicate with everyone back home:
TripIt - this is both a website and application for the iPhone that allows you to upload and get real time updates on your itinerary. We'll use this to monitor flight delays, weather and our flight time line. You can see our itinerary here.
Skype - this is a software application (and also app for the iPhone) that allows you to make phone calls over the internet. Calls to other Skype users are free and to landlines and cell phones are very cheap. This is the primary way we plan to call back home as using our cell phone costs $4 per minute!
Twitter - this is how we will provide most of our updates. We can post updates via either our laptop or text messages. People can either follow @scotthimes on Twitter or monitor the right side of our adoption blog. All of our twitter posts also automatically post to my Facebook page.
AudioBoo - this is a iPhone app that lets you record audio updates and post them. It integrates with Twitter and Facebook so it will show up as a link that people can click on to listen to. Not sure how much we'll really use this but it's something we'll play around with. We'll need an wifi connection to upload these updates so it's a little limited.
BrightKite - another iPhone app that integrates with Twitter. You can 'check-in' and it posts your actual location along with a picture that shows up as a link. Also shows you interesting locations and other users in the area you are at... not sure there will be many other users in Rwanda or Ethiopia, but we'll see. Same as AudioBoo, not sure how much it'll get used but something to play with.
Typepad Blog - you most likely are reading this post on my blog. This is where you can view our Twitter updates (right side), see what time it is in Rwanda (top left) and hopefully we'll be able to post some more detailed updates, photos and videos.