Hello???  Here’s How to Stay in Touch with your AFAR Archaeologist

After the big airport send-off, waving and blowing kisses and thinking of all the fun that you’re, ahem, your child, is going to have, it’s normal to feel apprehensive about staying in touch.  Hands-on technology is replaced with shovels and tools and time away from screens.  But don’t worry, there’s plenty of down time, which is the perfect time to dial-up dad. Here’s a few tips to bridge the gap, not to mention the time zone, and stay closely connected. 


Easy ways to stay in touch…

Whats App

WhatsApp is a fool-proof tool for staying in touch. It allows you to text or call internationally through your data plan, letting you keep in contact with your child without charging you for international texting. It also works with Wi-Fi, and even if your phone is not connected to the internet, WhatsApp will notify you of incoming texts upon their receipt.  

Be sure to download the app before your child heads abroad or you can’t receive texts in your new country, as you’ll need to verify your phone number through SMS text.

Oh, and did we mention, it’s also great for sending photos.

From Facetime to Facebook

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can also use iMessage while connected to Wi-Fi only. Just be sure to turn off the “send as SMS” option in your settings, so that you don’t accidentally send your message as (an expensive) text!  There is Wi-Fi at the hotels in Belize, Portugal, Spain and Greece.  It’s mostly available in the common area of the hotels, be mindful that the signal can get bogged down during peak times, and should be relied on for video calls.. 

In addition, be sure to follow “AFAR Program” on Facebook for updates from Executive Director, Mat Saunders.  His knack for storytelling from the site, when conditions allow, is epic and you won’t want to miss. Be sure to share with your friends and family!

Always On

In case of an emergency, or a bad case of homesickness, Mat’s cell phone is always reachable.  Even if you need to contact Mat to tell him to ask your child to call you, that’s perfectly fine.  Each parent has been provided with this information prior to departure.

NEW in 2019

We’re happy to report that two students from each project will be reporting from the field this summer.  You’ll get a student’s account of the activities from the dig site and the fun from off-site excursions.  Two posts each week will help bring you closer to the action through their eyes.  Please watch for links to the feed and visit www.goafar.org for updates.

Sherri Johnson