Here I am miles away from home and yet in regular easy contact with the folks there. I have my mobile phone (my Aussie one is set that I don't receive calls - as it would cost ME if anyone phoned me from Australia) and I can get text messages. I also have a Chinese phone that I can send and receive messages here in China, and speak with anyone.
(When the Chinese people answer the phone they say Wei Ni Haio, which when roughly translated means What do you want? Hello. So we do too when we answer our Chinese phones!)
I can use SKYPE and see and speak with family members and friends. And it is amazing to see and speak with the grandchildren as I miss them and though I can't touch them I can see them growing up before my eyes.
Family and friends regularly email me, and I know many read this blog to see what I am up to - so the communication is amazing. They can see some of the many photos I have taken - and if I wanted to show them all of them, I could easily do that too.
I also "read" the daily papers - it is easy to go online and read at least the headlines and major events happening at home. As well, I have ABC radio on all the time I am in my apartment. My favourite stations are the Jazz and Classical music - but I can listen to News updates from time to time.
So with this technology we can keep pretty well up to date with what is happening at home, or anywhere in the world. Amazing when you think about it.