Which made this the perfect time to go and visit him. We drove from my sister's in North Carolina westward to Chattanooga. When we traced the home where he was staying, his face glowed as we all greeted each other in Lubwisi. I forgot how tiny Ugandans look here in the land of the large. We took him out for the afternoon, and he talked and talked. Perhaps because so much had been stored up inside, or he was with people who got his accent (or maybe he's talking all the time to everyone, I don't know). I love seeing America through his eyes, a view similar to our own kids' views.
What do you do for an afternoon in Chattanooga? We chose to make a pilgrimage to Covenant College. This small institution has been well represented in Bundibugyo. All of the Herrons, for starters. Wendy Gray first came as a student. Teachers Matt Allison and Ashley Wood, interns including the two who fled from the rebels with us, and more. We went to pay homage to the place that formed these remarkable friends, to show our kids the school (who knows? the brochure says 99% get some kind of financial aid), and to give Basime the chance to see the place his friends Peter and Lydia and Luke Herron studied. Since Basime is enrolled in a Library Science degree at Uganda Christian University, we thought he should see an American library. And whom should we find behind the desk, but Laurel Brauer, another WHM MK! Small world.
Our day passed too quickly, and ended with a lovely meal with Dr. B, his wife, newborn son, and inlaws. This family has sacrificed thousands of dollars and countless hours to save Basime's vision. It still makes me shake my head in awe that God provided for our paths to cross at the exactly right time, and moved them to go to such extraordinary lengths for a kid they barely knew.
When we said goodbye, Basime told us that he no longer felt homesick, that being with us was like being home. But I found that being with him only made me miss Uganda and all our "kids" there more. So one case of glaucoma and homesickness cured, but another case only deepens.