So Ben and I have discovered that we can chat via Google talk mobile to mobile. I am on my DROID and he is on his Blackberry Storm 2. We are blessed because I don't have to wait for him to log onto his laptop at a internet cafe in order for me to get ahold of him, and he can email things back and forth to each other with little issue.
It does become an issue when the network goes down. You see, even though we are on an international data services plan with Verizon, all cell phone providers regardless of their name, must use existing towers over there in order to send/receive data information. Since Ben is located in an area not known for its vast technological capabilities, we are dependent on those towers to stay active.
Case in point. Today we tried to chat and he had no network connection. Usually his phone connects to an Indian provider which gives him little problem. When that network goes down his phone connects to a backup network, in this case an afghani network, which does not do crap for data exchange.
He was pretty ticked that he had to go to the internet cafe to log onto chat with me (and it is a nuisance) but I am relieved he has the capability of doing so. Some of our friends do not even have internet connections where they are located, and their spouses may hear from them once a week at the most. I do think it is remarkable, that even in an archaic setting, we are capable of communicating mobile to mobile with very little issue. If this had been Desert Storm, we both would have been forced to handwrite letters to each other and been forced to wait for the letters to arrive.
I love you Ben.. I am just grateful that as we journey through this first deployment we can talk to each other with little issue.