Sunday, July 5, 2009


Peter and I with Nicki's boys

This year has brought many exciting days and many joyful moments, but none quite as special as receiving visitors. A year away from home is difficult, but I’ve had good friends who made it much easier. February and March brought my friend Pete and my cousin Ryan, and June and July brought girlfriends and former roommates Jana and Lisa.
Ryan showing some pictures to Devon Pen's schoolchildren

They arrived with wide smiles and came bearing gifts: Cheez-its, books, fashion magazines, Season 3 of Nip/Tuck, toothbrushes, peanut m&ms…(visitors know the rules). They made in with my roommates and charmed the people of Mount Friendship (and Devon Pen, for that matter). They hiked through the bush and tried to understand Mr. Brooks’ thick patois. They asked questions, they struggled with the poverty they saw, and they listened to me vent about a year’s worth of challenges. They gave me a taste of home and reminded me of the blessing of friendship that awaits me upon my return to the States.

Roxanne stole Jana's heart

At times, it was an unreal experience…to have someone with whom I planned JRW to charm Nicki and her five children…to have a member of the O'Grady clan chatting with Mr. Brooks…to have someone who danced around our Aquinas dorm room to Cher with me keep my kids on-task in Mount Friendship’s library…to have the freshman year roommate who has seen and heard it all worship at Mount Friendship's tiny hilltop church.

Lisa met her fourth grade class' pen pals!

All of my guests were tremendously good sports...they battled the heat, the bugs, the water, the language...and smiled through it all. I am so blessed to have Peter, Ryan, Jana, and Lisa in my life. I can’t thank them enough for coming to see me down here. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you all and will see you all again so very soon!

1 comment:

Amber said...

Devon pen got a shout out!! wooo hooo

Happy i could still live vicariously through you guys :) miss youuuuu <3