Thursday, July 30, 2009

December 4, 2008 {Johannesburg - Durban}

Let's talk about our experience in the Johannesburg airport:

We had to collect our luggage to transfer to our flight to Durban. Seven people, locating and finding 14 bags is quite the sight! It took three wheeled carts. It was fun. We had nothing to claim which made immigration a bit easier. They were actually quite abrupt and rude, but we made it through without incident. Our transition to our next check-in gate was fairly smooth. If you call total chaos with 7 people, 14 bags and 3 carts "smooth." We were quite the sight to see.

We made it to our check-in counter (after a few friendly arguments on the advantages/disadvantages of taking our wheeled carts on the elevator vs. the escalator -- for the record, 1 cart went up the elevator, 2 carts went up the escalator).

We have been traveling for over 24 hours now. I am feeling coated with airplane air and grime. Looking forward to our arrival in Durban.

We are on our flight to Durban now.

Major excitement!

First of all ... I am sitting by a woman who lives in D.C., and she is escorting a group of Nepali diplomats to visit South Africa. Had a wonderful talk with her and the work she does. Also, a woman with a yellow lab guide dog came on and the airlines only had 1 seat for her. She threw a FIT! Man. It was awesome. Yelling, making a scene ... INSISTING that her dog have a seat to his own. Our flight is JAMMED ... but after some shuffling around of some very nice people, they found two seats for her. The best/worst part was the entire fight/confrontation was directly over Jodie's head. You should have seen her face. Priceless. Poor thing.

As if that wasn't enough entertainment (before we even left the ground I may add), when one of the flight attendants asked the people in the exit row if they would listen to the emergency procedure, one dude said, "No." He told her he's heard it a "million times." ReAlLy?!? Note to self: don't exit on HIS side of the plane! What a jerk.

We are now taxing to the runway. Prayers for a smooth, peaceful flight from here-on-out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

December 4, 2008 {Dulles - Johannesburg}

Flight from Dulles to Johannesburg, South Africa ...

We lost a day now. We've been in flight for 13 hours from Dulles. Two more hours to Johannesburg, South Africa!

We safely landed in Dulles. I called my parents and talked to them. It was so good to hear their voices. We found a restaurant in the airport to get some non-plane food. Will I care to remember the food? (I like to ask myself these questions when I journal about things like food I ate or who I sat by on the plane). Chicken and brie sandwich with green apples and fries. When our food arrived, we realized we had less then 10 minutes to board our next plane. We quickly packed up our meals in To Go containers and made our way to Get B22 (another thing I write about in my journals and wonder if I'll care later about which gate we boarded our plane).

When we got to our gate, we learned they had started boarding 45 minutes before. Oops. We were the last people to board the plane. Yep ... it was waiting for us. Good thing we made it! Once we found our seats, I called Jay to hear his voice one last time before arriving in Africa.

I took an Ambien during the flight and slept like a CHAMP! I even used the sleeping-mask (eye covers) that South African Airlines give each traveler. Might be my new thing!

The flight has been nice, but very, very long. The crew is nice as well. Looking forward to seeing what Durban is like. Saw a documentary on Durban during the flight -- seems nice. When I was done watching the documentary, a man on the plane told me that Durban is rugged and dangerous. We shall see. Looking forward to changing out of my clothes. Still have done nothing about my memory verse (one of my jobs at the camp we're going to lead). I keep telling myself, "I'll work on it during the NEXT flight." :)

Here is a video Natalie took of me. I'm explaining the COOLNESS of seeing our own plane take off on the screen in our headrest. We quickly have to sign-off when one of the flight attendants tells us we need to switch off our camera and turn out our lights.

Great. First we're late to board the plane, then we get in trouble ... all before take off.

Classic.
video

Monday, July 27, 2009

Reminders

Every time I read HER blog, I am moved to tears.

And then a renewed sense of purpose wells up inside of me.

And I am once again reminded that there is extreme pain and suffering all over the world.

Extreme beauty and brilliance.

Simplicity and caring.

Longing and injustice.

And we can all do a little something to help out.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wed, December 3, 2008

It's been seven months now.

I'm going to start digesting my trip to South Africa.

I'll start by sharing my journal entries with you.

I think that will help me in the process.

Wednesday, December 3rd
I slept terrible last night. I woke up many times throughout the night and rushed to the bathroom. I'm terrified and excited at the same time. When my alarm went off at 3:10 am ... my first thought was "Thank God!" My second thought was, "Oh crap! I'm so scared!" I actually threw up many times in the shower. Lovely. I showered, packed a few last minute items and we headed out the door to pick up Jonathan and Kelly. We arrived promptly at OCC (Overlake Christian Church) at 4:30 am. Tami and J.R. were there. Jodie and Natalie arrived shortly after. We called on Kinsey who had slept through her alarm. :) J.R. drove our donation bags down (to the airport), Jay took me down, and everyone else took the shuttle.

(Kinsey, Tami, Jonathan, Kelly, Natalie, Jodie, myself)

Leaving my home and loved ones is something I can't quite get used to. I was a crying mess. I cried every 2 seconds, every time I thought of leaving. Jay was wonderful and reassuring and said everything perfect. Though I'm sure he was having feelings of his own, he kept them to himself and listening to mine.

We arrived at the airport, unloaded the vehicles and I said a very teary goodbye to Jay ... holding in sobs would be more appropriate. I collected myself, wiped away tears and we turned around to enter Sea-Tac. I (of course) turned around one more time to get a last look at my honey.

As we were walking to find our check-in counter, I got a HUGE SURPRISE! My DADDY! He has woken up early to meet me at the airport and see us all off. (My dad was originally supposed to be on the trip with us, but his work schedule wouldn't allow it and he had to cancel his South Africa plans). I am so blessed, loved and supported. I instantly burst into tears. I know ... AGAIN! My daddy. My sweetie. It was so fun seeing him. The best part of my day so far!

While we waited to check-in, we all opened our suitcases to shove in last minute donations: brochures on the advantages of breast feeding, breast feeding tubes, socks, t-shirts, etc.). We even had a good laugh when ALL the breast feeding brochures fell out and scattered all over the Sea-Tac floor.

We had a very nice check-in experience (thank you United Airlines!). Our donation bags were over our 50 pound limit. When we told our costumer service rep what we were doing and why our bags were so heavy, he waved the over-load fee. We made it through security with no mishaps and quickly found a table to eat breakfast. I wasn't hungry AT ALL and took small bites of Jodie's sandwich. Jodie surprised us with a bag of goodies and a really sweet note. Shouldn't we be giving HER a gift!?!


We boarded the plane without incident, asked a few people to switch around with us and we were able to sit by (at least) one team member. Except for Kinsey ... but I don't think she minded; she ended up having an entire row to herself to stretch out and sleep!

We're headed for our 1st stop ... Washington, D.C ... Dulles Airport.

Going to try to get some sleep ...

---

I saw this on Post Secrets today.

It made my heart hurt and smile ... all at the same.


When I mentioned this to Jay, he said he had to give his lunch out two different times this week to different kids at his camp.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Haiti Rescue Center

Found THIS site/blog belonging to the Haiti Rescue Center from a blogging friend's website.

I'm posting a link to it ... because I think it's important to share the amazing work that people all over the world are doing.

And though it makes me cry, I can't turn a blind eye.

I can't.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

He Makes A Difference

There is so much that I love so much about this video.

That he walks around his house, globally thinking of others less fortunate ... all around the world.

That he wrote a letter.

That he knew he could make a difference.

And DID.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Self Reflection

I spent the majority of my afternoon cleaning out my garage today.

And what started out as a garage-cleaning chore, turned into so much more.

I went through boxes in the far-reaching corners of my garage.

Filled with items from far-reaching places in my life.

I perused through old letters from family members, old friends and past boyfriends.

I daydreamed of old times, each time I found an old, saved keepsake at the bottom of a box.

And I learned a lot about myself.

You see, I went away for college.

Which was a really big deal for me because I am a homebody by nature.

I went to college in Montana.

I loved it.

But it was far from home.

And I missed my family.

What I learned while I read old letters and looking at old keepsakes, was ... I WAS LOVED!

I have a TON of old letters from my parents.

They wrote me often.

And I kept them all.

I had wonderful friends.

One card I found was from my good friend Jamie. Apparently (from what I can gather from her card) is that my parents wrote me a letter, but it got lost in the mail.

Since I was homesick, I imagine this upset me.

But Jamie bought me a card, and wrote:
I'm sorry your mom and dad's card got lost in the mail. I know this could never replace your lost one, but I took the liberty of buying this for you. We love you very much! Love, Mom, Dad, and Danny
And she signed THEIR names.

Really. Really sweet.

Today, it made me well up with tears.

I was so loved.

I found beautiful letters from my parents, telling me how proud they were. My dreams, my morals, my accomplishments and decisions.

Proud.

And today, it made me cry all over again.

Because I live my life, thinking about how proud I am of my parents.

In one letter, my dad wrote:
I just got off the phone with you. I loved hearing your voice. I really value our conversations on Sunday nights. Mom and I are so proud of you honey. My buttons are popping off my shirt because I am so proud. I miss you, and can't for you to come home again. I love you Liser Locks. Love, Dad
And I cried again. Imagining him writing that at his desk at work.

Missing his baby girl.

I never stopped to think about whether it was hard on them to have me gone.

In one of my mom's letters, she wrote:
Hi honey. I miss you. Danny misses you too. He said so the other day. We all miss you. We miss your personality and presence in the house. But we are so proud of you Lisa and all that you're accomplishing while your away. I can't wait to have you home again. Would you like to have a family dinner at our house when you come home? I know everyone wants to see you. I love you. Love, Mommy-Mary
They missed me.

Just as much as I missed them.

Maybe more.

I also learned that I was wise beyond my years.

I found old poems. Old letters. Old pictures.

I found a list of 100 things that make me happy.

I wrote it when I was 19 years old.

And I was touched by the things I wrote.

Things not typically important to a 19 year old girl in college.

I found poems that I had read, and wrote on notebook paper so I'd be able to remember them.

Again, not poems typically enjoyed by 19 year old girls.

Here is one:
The Eagle and The Wolf

There is a
great battle that rages
inside me.

One side is the soaring eagle.
Everything the eagle stands for is
good and true and beautiful, and
it soars above the clouds. Even
though it dips down into the valleys,
it lays it's eggs on the mountaintops.

The other side of me is the howling
wolf. And that raging, howling wolf
represents the worst that's in me.
He eats upon my downfalls and
justifies himself by his presence
in the pack.
Who wins this great battle?

The one I feed.
You see, I think it's human nature to be hard on ourselves.

And though I've come a long way ... I still find I pick myself apart.

My hair, my weight, my clothes, my ...

But what I learned today, was I LOVE the girl I was in college.

Smart.

And ambitious.

And confident.

And accomplished.

And LOVED.

And I guess when I think about it ...

... a lot like I am today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Howertons

We are like MEGA huge fans of the Howerton Family!

Thank you Mike and Jodie for being such an integral part of our special day.

We wouldn't have had it any other way.

We love you guys!



I couldn't help posting these pictures of Caleb with Jay.
Seriously adorable!

ENGAGED!!!!

My brother DANNY and ERICA got engaged a few weeks ago on their 5th anniversary.

I am so happy for my brother to have found his life love.

I am so happy to welcome Erica into our family and gain a sister!

Congrats you two.

Can't wait for the Big Day!

Here are a few pictures of them from my wedding that I just LOVE!

Doing my hair ...

During the ceremony ...

After the ceremony ...

Lounging after dinner ...

LOVE YOU GUYS!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bossing // Guiding

If you are a bossy daughter ... errr ... I mean, if you like to guide your parents in making good clothing decisions, then you already know what this picture is all about.

And if you don't ...
Dad: What do you think about this shirt for today?
Me: How about something without patterns on it!?!

Love you Daddy!

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I had Amy take a few pictures of me with the picture of my mom on her wedding day.

It was going to be a surprise for my mom.

When I showed her tonight, she said, "That actually wasn't my wedding day. I dressed in my wedding dress and had a photo shoot a few weeks later."

Oh well, it's the thought that counts!



Our Wedding Slideshow!