Sunday, 26 February 2012, is a day that will forever be etched upon my memory as the day on which Bobz and I finally met each other, face to face, for the very first time.
In that one instant, he had become more than his distinctive scrawl on a postcard or a letter that had winged its way across the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean from the US of A to land in my letterbox. He had become more than just the lines of text in an email, suddenly bing-ing into my inbox.
He was more than just a friendly voice with an (initially unfamiliar) American accent on the phone in the middle of the night, after we had again miscalculated the time zone differences between our two cities on opposite parts of the world. And he was far more than just a stream of pixels flickering across my PC screen when we began to video-Skype as recently as 2010 (an event I shared with you all on my blog).
Seeing each other in real life, suddenly solidly three-dimensional and so real, was an overwhelming experience for both of us. It was the culmination of almost 25 years of long-distance communication in its various forms.
So, dear readers, dear blogfriends, dear soon-perhaps-to-become blogfriends, are you curious to hear how Bobz and I became friends – and how and under what circumstances we finally met?
In February/March this year, we visited the United States of America for three weeks. I took a break from blogging in order to start writing up the story of our trip, and hope that you will enjoy reading the upcoming series of posts. Please bear with me if this process takes some time.
For now, here is a summary of our trip, to wet your appetite. :-)
At the end of February, Richard and a group of work colleagues from the Square Kilometre Array South Africa office in Cape Town flew over to New Mexico to spend a week at the EVLA (Expanded Very Large Array), a radio astronomy telescope array, on a mountain plateau outside the small town of Socorro, some 120 km south of Albuquerque.
I, meanwhile, had a little adventure of my own: I stayed with a long-time penpal and his family near the small town of Hazard in eastern Kentucky. It was an exciting time, which I shall tell you all about soon! (Update: This is the post I wrote about it: Meeting my penpal of 25 years)
At the end of the first week, Richard and I met up in Louisville, Kentucky, from where we embarked on a two-week road trip around (parts of) the southeastern and eastern USA, ending in New York City.