Monday, May 23, 2011

***Africa*** Part 1

So, now I've been home for almost 3 weeks.
We are finding that "new normal"people talk about although 
I sort of can't stand that cliche. 
It sounds like we traded in some fuzzy, worn slippers for some stiff, uncomfortable new work boots. 
We didn't.
We traded an old familiar for a new familiar.
This child who was destined for us has been added to my other children who were destined for us.
So, it's really just my "more normal".

 I need to finally share pictures from our trip to Uganda. 
There are stories and posts rolling around in my head, jockying for space on this blog but first...


clean, smiling, perky, rested, READY!!!!
It's 11AM! Let's GO!
(though, the overnight flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam, our second leg of 4 total would change all of that precious rested feeling...)

 checking in curb-side. Yay.
our amazing Going-Away Gathering
 last photo as a family of FIVE
The next morning in Holland. 
From Schipol Airport it looked roughly like Tennessee outside.
Since we were exhausted this is what we did the entire time we were in Amsterdam.

The glamorous results of what an overnight flight sitting almost-completely upright between 
my husband and a Polish guy for 8 hours looks like on me.
Oy vey.

 those are my feet propped up on my rolling carry-on in Amsterdam. I was TIRED.

 Our plane from Amsterdam to Nairobi. Largest plane I've EVER seen. Double decker.
 Those are the ALPS!!!

 Airplane food. Filling. Yummy. Suprising. Distinctly less "American" with every vertical foot we travelled.

This was a dream flight, Amsterdam to Nairobi. Sunny skies and a cooled cabin, food that kept showing up, space to sprawl out, movies at the touch of a remote - heavenly, really!

 Pillows with lion silhouettes on the Nairobi to Entebbe flight.
This was our 4th flight.
Andrew whispered while we were en flight from Kenya to Uganda:
 "Just think. We may be flying over lions and elephants right now."

 First view of Entebbe Airport, 11:30PM local time. After 27 hours of travel.

It was humid, sweet air and the clouds were silver cobblstones above in the moonlight.

 Kampala by car, Day 1....
boda boda's (motorbikes)- the Ugandan taxi

 cattle in the roadways

Ugandan shopping

typical Kampala sights

"Kampala  Open Bible Church"

very typical Kampala surroundings 

Ugandan strip mall

homes on a hillside

There are no planks to stand on this wood scaffolding. Just branches stacked together.

 This sign reads: "Uganda Police"

 Gotcha, Rissa!!!

maybe my favorite of this day

First bottle with Mama.

Her body language in these first Gotcha Day photos breaks my heart now - she clearly does NOT know us. How grateful I am for how God has changed this so quickly.

 one of Rissa's caregivers.

I purposely left out many other pictures of Rissa's caregivers to maintain their privacy.
Rest assured, they are VERY dear to us and we remain in contact with them as precious extended family.

My views from inside our driver's van.

 our grocery store

Street children peering in the windows at the odd Mzungus (white people) with the tiny black baby.

This was the MAIN point of confusion for all Africans we met. 


 national soccer  football stadium

illiciting first giggles

Daddy feeling very content and Rissa looking pretty comfortable herself.

 military transport

"who ARE you?"

our room with those mosquito nets

asleep in HER clothes in HER bed in HER parents' room.


the steps to our guesthouse - some of the SIXTY-TWO of them...

our view of our Africa

***more tomorrow.....


  1. She is beautiful!! Thanks so much for sharing! This makes me even more excited about my trip to Uganda in July! Blessings to you!

  2. I don't even know what to say, Esty. I am in awe of our God. And so stinkin' happy for you. :) And KEEP THE POSTS COMING! In between all your taking care of your kids, of course. ;)

  3. LOL. I have been there and yet I am very much looking forward to your part 2!!
    Lots of love to your sweet family.

  4. Oh Esty, it means so much that you left us with some of Rissa's first clothes...and her first bed. Our little family has been so blessed by you and as I tuck AR in tonight wearing Rissa's clothes and E2 into Rissa'e pack-n-play, I am SO grateful. Thank you for sharing these pictures. I can't wait to see you (and her!) again.

  5. I'm eating all this up. I love it. I'm weeping and loving it.