Still showing up, spending time and coming back…from a distance!

image Jonathan and Kevin online connection cropped

Staying connected is a topic on everyone’s minds right now. In the Big Buddy village, we’re giving a lot of thought to how Big and Little Buddies continue to make meaningful connections with each other over the next few weeks.

Luckily, our Big Buddies already have a wealth of ideas on how to maintain the ‘we show up, we spend time, we come back’ mantra that they are known and loved for! Here are a few examples.

Kevin on connecting with Jonathan (main picture.)

“During the lock down, I think it’s more important than ever for people to feel connected, even though they may be isolated” says the Wellington Big Buddy.

“We’re lucky that there are so many technologies that can help us stay in contact, so my Little Buddy Jonathan and I used Facetime and had a video ‘get together’ last Sunday.

“It was actually really easy and we had a great time, playing Liars Dice and Battleships (him with a real board and me with a paper copy I printed off the internet).  I miss seeing him in person as we’ve been doing every weekend for the past 5 years, but for now we’ve adapted to this new way of meeting up, so we still get to talk and have some fun together.”

Jason on connecting with Raffael

“Raf and I have been connecting regularly remotely since he moved to Whakatane. But I know he’s worried, like we all are. So I just try reassure him…he asked me last weekend to come down and stay.”

Clearly, Jason can’t pop down country right now, so they’ve found another way to connect that is close to the young artist’s heart.

“Raf is giving us a topic to draw with. We -as in all my bubble – are going to have a crack at drawing too! We will reveal each other’s pictures on Wednesday afternoons…the first one is a horror theme.”

Eugene on connecting with James

James and I have been checking in with each other every couple of days on WhatsApp via message, chat or video call to share how our day was, what we’ve been up to, any news with the family.

“This seems to be working very well so far. James and his mother elected to go into self-isolation early for family reasons, and they predicted we would go into lock down anyway. So we’ve had plenty of practice using WhatsApp.

“I’d also strongly recommend something like Zoom for video calls, which can be a bit more personal than just messaging.”

Little Buddy Jeremiah and Big Buddy Peter are using ‘pure’ audio to connect: “Jeremiah and I are going old school i.e. the telephone. Unfortunately our digital platforms and entertainment channels are different so it’s good old fashion conversation on the phone.”

And Big Buddy Gavin and Little Buddy Jeffrey, typically take a break during holidays so this period is not unusual for them.

“We are a bit slack when it comes to electronic communications! We’ll have minimum contact over this period and then pick back up later on. We’ve always been like this through holiday periods etc. where we just do our own thing and pick up later, where we left off. “

Big Buddy Roman and Little Buddy Aidan are communicating via WhatsApp, which is their usual method, but moving to Zoom soon.

Last but not least, one Big Buddy who shall remain anonymous, pulled up outside his Little Buddy’s house on his birthday, and sung, with banjo and amp, from the back of his ute! Mum said it really made her boy’s day.

Do you have a self isolation buddy story to share? We would love to hear it. Contact sally@bigbuddy.org.nz , ph 021 599 191 or Facebook message @bigbuddynz

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