Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Very Special Visitor

Leah arrives!
A couple of posts ago, I mentioned we had a number of visitors at SHIM in May-July.  And although I loved all of them, I was really, really looking forward to the arrival of one especially special visitor, my dear and beautiful sister, Leah Joy!

It is just the two of us siblings and we have been close since the day she was born and I was only 16 months old. We were roommates for 20+ years and have done a ton of stuff together (homeschooling, graduation, GED, driver's licenses, etc.) Needless to say, she is very special to me and one of my dearest and bestest friends. : )

So, when June 26th rolled around, I was there early at the airport, excited and anxious to see my sissy. But, I waited and waited, until there were no more passengers coming though the exit doors. : (  I called my mom in Oregon to find out what had happened and where in the world was my sister!

It turns out that thunderstorms in New York delayed the takeoff and caused Leah to miss her connecting flight in London. The airline put her up in a hotel and she was able to do some sightseeing in London (very cool!) So, I reluctantly waited one more day to see my sissy, and was very glad when I saw her raven-black head bob toward me the next morning.

Her two-week stay was packed with fun adventures, like her first boda (motorcycle) ride (photo at left), stays on the island and in Jinja, meeting many of the dear people she had only ever heard about, new foods, laughs, long talks, photoshoots, football games, Bible study with the island girls, singing together for church, celebrating July 4th and then my birthday, and so much more!

Celebrating July 4th in Uganda with a barbecue with fellow missionaries. From top left, clockwise, Leah with Jessica, a visitor from Oregon; a yummy flag cake; Leah on the rope swing; Jessica and Leah in their patriotic attire; Leah and me with the American flag; yay for painted toenails - blue, red and purple; me and my sissy - center.

Leah met many people during her visit.

Leah and Mama Alice Kisolo, whom she first met when Alice visited the U.S. back in 2004.

Being together - the best part of Leah's visit.

  So, a couple of days before Leah left, we went on a rafting adventure, which was kinda a post-birthday celebration for me, too. Jessica, Leah and I hit the rapids of the Nile and had a blast together! On that day we were the only group with this particular rafting company, so it was like we owned the river (well, kinda). ; ) It was great fun (except for when I was unwillingly dumped in the water on two occasions). There we are, above to the left, before the trip, smiling and dry.
A Nile River rafting adventure!
Good friends - Jessica, Stella, Leah and myself on my birthday eve.
The time went by way too fast, as it does when you are having fun with people you love. But we made and stored lots of memories and special times together! Not everyone has their sister travel across the world (her first trans-Atlantic flight) just to visit and see where you are living and working. So, I feel honored that my special little sis' blessed me in such a way!

Now, it's my turn. I hope to spend Thanksgiving and her birthday with her in PA in November! Yay!


  1. Hey!

    Did Mama Alice speak at CBC one evening back in 2004? If yes, I was there. She served beans and a thick corn tortilla flat bread (I can't quite place the name of it).

    What a blessing your sister was there for a visit. Your river rafting adventure looks fun too.


  2. How special! I'm so glad she could be there with you for your birthday! And not many people can say they've rafted the Nile--that's pretty awesome! You're coming to the States in November?! You're coming to the NW too, right? (-;

  3. I bet having Leah there was the best possible birthday present! I'm so glad you got all that time together...that was precious to both of you I'm sure. And how cool is that to go rafting on the NILE? Did the company take the pictures for you?

  4. How special!! I'm so glad you got to have such a wonderful time with Leah - those times must be cherished indeed!
    Rafting on the Nile looks really neat!! Looks like bunches of fun!!

  5. Darlene, yes, Mama Alice was the one who spoke at CBC back in 2004. The flat tortilla is called a "chapati" and is quite popular here. There are street vendors are all over the towns/villages who make them. An egg wrapped in one (like a breakfast burrito) is a called a "rolex" (rolled egg). :)
    Yes, Lauren, Leah's visit was great! And, affirmative I am planning to come to the U.S. in November, including the NW. I look forward to seeing you and your family then! :)
    You are right, Mikaela, Leah's visit was possibly the best birthday present I have ever received! The rafting was cool and sometimes a bit cold, too. ;)
    Emily, thanks for the comment! You may agree with me, any activity done with siblings can be lots of fun and quite memorable. :)