Phone Home: Gladstone resident Fei Matheson communicates with relatives and friends in China by using online technologies.
Phone Home: Gladstone resident Fei Matheson communicates with relatives and friends in China by using online technologies. Brett Mic Waters

Tech brings family closer together

FEI Matheson has lived in Gladstone for nine years.

She adores her adopted home, but misses her family back in Jiangsu Province, China terribly.

"I'm so happy living here. The people are friendly and it's just a peaceful place.

"Only one thing breaks my heart - when I see family gatherings.

"Then, I wish my own family was here. I miss them so much."

Technology helps to bridge the distance.

Ms Matheson uses Skype, Facebook, Yahoo and MSN Messenger to keep in touch with her family.

"When I'm on the internet, I turn them all on, because everyone in my family uses different mediums to communicate."

She also uses QQ, a Skype-like program that is popular in China.

"It's really good. My family can use the camera, and I can type in Chinese or English."

If her mum wants to chat, Ms Matheson's sister helps to facilitate.

Being a little older, she's not so tech-savvy.

"Mum just goes to their house if she wants to see us, because they live across the road.

It's important for Ms Matheson's daughters Xi Xi, 22, and Holly, six, to stay in regular contact with their family in China.

When Ms Matheson first arrived in Gladstone, it was much harder to stay in touch.

"Now, I feel closer to them. Before I could only hear their voice, now I can see them."


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