Thursday, May 17, 2012

Long-lost friends

Facebook and blogs have made this a very different blog post than it would have been a few years ago. And that's one of the things I love about Facebook and blogs. Still, there are some long-lost friends of mine out there who seem to be beyond the reach of social media.

My sophomore year of college, I roomed with a Korean girl, Hae-Jin, who was studying at the BYU's English Language Center. She was so awesome. I will never forget the first day I moved in to Belmont 36 (the slummy apartments, not the swanky condos). On the kitchen counter was a tupperware full of cookies, with a Post-it note attached that had "Please eat this cookies" printed on it in neat, Asian-ish handwriting. She was also fond of telling Jeremy to "stop bothering" - she hadn't yet picked up on the fact that "bother" needs an object. Hae-Jin is also the person who was riding her bike with me home from Movies 8 and we cut through a dark parking lot and I hit a speedbump without warning and crashed. She jumped off her bike, ran over to me, and asked with such concern, "Bridget, do you work??"  Hae-Jin, where are you?

I miss so many of the kids I taught in Syria. Email was even kind of a big deal at the time, since it was hard to get a (dial-up!) internet connection at home. So when I moved away from Syria, I did so without lasting contact information for any of my students. Sad. I've re-connected with five of them on Facebook (yay!) but I still think about the others and wondering how they're doing. Lujain, Riwa, Dania, Mary-Anne, Alia, and everyone else, where are you?

In Russia, I was friends with a woman at church named Alyona Angel. Isn't that the prettiest name ever? Her personality fit the name, too. She had recently moved to Moscow from Moldova, so we were comrades in learning Russian (but she was way ahead of me since they studied it in school in Moldova). I remember she came over to my house for lunch one day and it was the first time she'd ever eaten pineapple. Every once in a while I check Facebook to see if she's there, but I haven't had any luck so far. Alyona, where are you?

A group of friends that I did manage to keep in touch with, even before blogs and Facebook, are my roommates from my freshman year of college. It's kind of amazing to think that we are still really updated on each other's lives even though it's been almost 13 years since we first lived together. Aaaand reading that sentence just freaked me out a little bit. I can't believe it's been almost 13 years!

Who are your long-lost friends?


Liz Johnson said...

THIRTEEN YEARS? That is completely insane. I'm really glad we've kept up, though. Even with the 32.5 children between us all. :)

I have a friend from Tennessee that I would love to see again - but I was nine when I moved away, and she has an incredibly common name, and I just don't see it happening.

Susanne said...

Weird timing maybe, but just last evening a friend posted this on Facebook:

"How the heck does FB know how to suggest someone to me that I might know, when 1) that person and I have no friends in common, 2) she lives in a different country with a different language? I mean, random people would be one thing but I actually DO know this person!!"

Joni met this lady years ago when she was in the Philippines on a mission trip, I think. Anyway, maybe there is hope that FB will find your missing friends for you and suggest them to you. We're still wondering how FB knew they might be friends. Any ideas? Joni said she doesn't have her in her email contacts. I was wondering if this Filipina had been looking for Joni and FB noticed??

I can't think of any long-lost friends at the moment. Oh, yes, I do recall a Russian lady in a class I took years ago. Olga...she was from Siberia and we wrote each other once each when she went back. Then I lost touch. I should look her up on FB.

Yvonne Anderson said...

Ah, I lived in "Slummy Belmont" as well!

JosephJ said...

I've got connections. Send me an email and I can get you the info through my mom. Know how that goes?

Katie Lewis said...

I am totally with you on this. I have a friend from high school who was one of those people that I just enjoyed spending every minute with her. She was so fun and we laughed so much together. Unfortunately due to a number of crazy things she sort of dropped out just shy of graduation and I haven't heard from her (or of her) since. Nobody I know seems to know where she is and Facebook doesn't seem to know either. It's sad to lose contact with people like that. People you can't help but remember.

Crys said...

32.5 kids...Wow Ladies that is amazing. I'm in facebook/blog contact with almost all my roommates but there was one I'd been looking for for almost ten years. I even friended some random kid with the same last name from the same state hoping it was her brother three years ago...then facebook changed their privacy settings and she found me that day. Turns out she'd been looking for me for years as well. And that random kid, her brother. I blame facebook for keeping us apart...but then finally bringing us back together :)

JosephJ said...

I had a roommate, Brendan, than I tried to find a couple months ago. Just to send a friendly "hi", but I didn't have a resource to find him.

Then there was a mission companion Edward Perry (family in Caerphilly, I think), that I could find. Granted, I have a mission directory with his parents address from more than a decade ago, which I could write a letter to... but aren't electrons so much faster?

Then I sometimes wonder about my Ukrainian companion, Nikolai Trusov. Oh, just found him! I guess finding on Facebook can be done with the right keywords.

(Side note: I am the unofficial "we can't find these people"-finder in our ward., Google, and Facebook make it alot easier to find people these days if you have a decent set of keywords and they have any sort of web presence. It's kind of fun to act as a PI sometimes.)

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I remember Alyona Angel. If you ever find her tell me how she is doing.

I am pretty good at finding people, even before the FB days. Once found a distant cousin whom I had not seen since age 13, just by posting a notice on a genealogy bulletin board. My cousin's neighbor happened to see it; right time, right place, you know?

Recently I wanted to get in touch w/ an old boyfriend who gave me the Book of Mormon when I was 17. Found his FB page, which was actually created after his death by his family, as a place to post his obit and comments about him. Honestly, for a month I was in a sad daze, because I so much had wanted to speak to him once more, to say what a great life I have because of him.

Elena Bebe said...

I think pretty much all my classmates from the time I used to go to school in Poland.
I haven't seen them in 16 years but one day one of them decided to add me on Facebook. I then discovered that she had many other of my classmates on her list so we started adding one another.

Liz Johnson said...

I really doubt your mom knows her... she wasn't LDS and I think they moved away soon after we did.

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

Bridget, I want you to know that I really appreciate having you as part of my sisters-in-blogging. your insights into parts of the world that I will probably never visit help me to see the world through yours eyes, and understand how rich and diverse the cultures are where you live. Your observations and humor also help me to see how much I share with all people, especially women, throughout the world.

As a poet I find it sometimes easier to share my feelings in poems, although obviously I have no problem writing long-winded comments either. If you want to see the poem I dedicated to all of my “sisters” in the blogosphere, you can find it here.

Thank you for all the wonderful stories and thoughts you share!


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