This is my good friend Juliana. Isn’t she beautiful?Ã‚ This is the first installment ofÃ‚ weekly tributesÃ‚ to my best friends. I thought that Jules would be the perfect friend to start with.Ã‚ She embodies all things wonderful about friendship. She is thoughtful, kind, and warm. She is super smart andÃ‚ has a sparkling personality. (Are you blushing yet Jules?) She is a total word snob!She is driven and ambitious–just graduated with her master’s degree and is starting a doctoral program as we speak! ButÃ‚ the thing I like the best about my friend is that she has a brooding spirit about her.Ã‚ Jules thinks deeply and struggles to know what is true and real in her life. She is methodical and pragmatic. I love that about her.Ã‚ And sheÃ‚ values Ã‚ those things in others!
Our friendshipÃ‚ is a funny one because it was formed in a few short months and hasÃ‚ traveled over three continents and seven years. Jules is the BEST travel buddy ever! We’ve only spent butÃ‚ about four or five months in each other’s tangible company. However, the time we’ve spent together in Asia, Africa, and theÃ‚ U.S. has been life-changing for me…she seems to pop in at pivotal moments.
It all started in Taiwan–see pics (don’t we look young, Jules?).Ã‚ I had just graduated from BYU and was off to teach English with 18 strangers. Funny thing is four of those eighteen continue to be treasured friends of mine today. Anyway, we backpacked the country for two weeks, team-taught munchkins together, and had many wonderful discussions about life and God while at IVY Private School. Remember the Brittany Spears’ Dance??? Ughhhh!!!
Fast forward three years to Zambia….Jules was on a Peace Corps assignment in Africa. I had only seen her one time since Taiwan, and was dying to travel with her again. Plus, Africa was the coolest possible place I could think of for a reunion. I spent five glorious weeks in Juli’s village and travelling with her. We even made our way into Botswana for a couple of days for a safari.Ã‚ Anyway, The pic above is of Jules cleaning her fish for a meal when I was there. She took pity on her neighbor’s cat and would feed it raw eggs etc…but tried not to let the villagers notice because they were starving as much as the cat was. My favorite part of the trip, though, was our excursion to Victoria Falls–see scrap pages below. It was absolutely breathtaking, and I can’t think of anyone I would have rather shared it with.
Well, Jules wasn’t able to make it to my wedding in 2004 because her sweet grandmother passed away–but she sent me my most prized wedding gift (no joke). She hand painted two African themed works of art for us and framed them.Ã‚ I cried andÃ‚ sniffled when I opened her gift.Ã‚ Only my new husband knew what that meantÃ‚ to me. Thanks Julesie!Ã‚ I don’t think anyone could’ve guessed that I would be attending her wedding the next fall (2005)!!!!
How pathetic that this is the only image I have of the two of us atÃ‚ her wedding. And I WAS the photographer. Sad, sad, sad. But I did get many beautiful pictures of Jules and Dan–herÃ‚ sweet husband. It meant a lot to me that I could share this wonderful momentÃ‚ in her life. And I got to visit her family–they are always a joy and delight toÃ‚ be around.
Jules, you areÃ‚ one of myÃ‚ dearest friends. I treasure our adventures and our discussions. I am so blessed to know you and to call you my friend. You bring so much joy intoÃ‚ the lives of others. I miss you so much. It is good to be reminded of the strength friendship brings and the need to nurture it!!!!!Ã‚