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Poultry Power

When I say the word “chicken,” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Maybe you envision an actual rooster or hen. Or perhaps it’s a plate of chicken nuggets or Kentucky Fried. You might think of a childhood bully’s taunt, daring you to try something stupid or dangerous, and then calling you a chicken when you don’t oblige. Right now, the word “chicken” takes me back to Uganda, where I spent two weeks recently, visiting commercial and family poultry farms, a hatchery, a [...]

Three Kinds of People

Some people are dreamers. They envision endless and enormous options and opportunities, and believe the word “impossible” doesn’t mean something can’t be done, just that it hasn’t been done – yet. They can make a difference in the lives of others, as well as in their own. Some people are practical. They see the possibilities, but also the problems in their projects and activities. They recognize obstacles – real and potential – and they understand what needs to be done to overcome them.  They can [...]

A Tribute to a True Legend

Warm. Gracious. Humble. These are the first words I thought of to describe Alice Walker when I met her on Friday. We were at the Georgia Writers Museum, where several events would be taking place on Saturday as part of an all-day celebration in honor of her 75th birthday. As she walked in, she smiled, extended her hand, and said, “Hi. I’m Alice.” I was able to restrain myself to keep from blurting out, “Yes! Yes you are!” Instead I simply smiled back, shook her [...]

Time for a Tune-Up

We’re almost halfway through the year, which makes this a good time for a much-needed reset and jump start on a project of mine – my still-active New Year’s Resolution. This year, my resolution was to come up with a monthly theme, such as “Decluttering” or “Health Habits,” and then do weekly tasks or projects related to the theme. It’s gone well, for the most part, but I’ve fallen a bit behind lately. Part of the reason, of course, was being out of town recently [...]

A Resolution Report

Although I wouldn’t expect anyone to notice, there was something missing for me at the beginning of the year. Ever since 2001, when I first began writing a weekly newspaper column, I started each year with a column or blog about my New Year’s Resolutions. (Yes, I’m one of the people who still makes them.) But this year, I didn’t. I don’t mean I didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution, just that I didn’t write about it. The reason had nothing to do with the [...]

Celebrating and saying prayers

“We’re going to be a little late getting there,” Richard said as we climbed into his car and left the hotel. It was Sunday morning, and we were on our way to 8:00 Mass at the Angal Parish church in the West Nile region of Uganda. I hate arriving late anywhere, especially places like church. It popped into my head briefly that perhaps we could sneak in quietly and sit, unnoticed, in a back pew, although I knew that wasn’t very likely. For one thing, [...]

A visit to the hospital

We were sitting in the office of the Executive Director of St. Luke’s Hospital in the Nebbe District of northern Uganda, along with the Medical Director and several other department heads. Our main reason for being there was that our organization, Pathways to Hope Africa, is working with a medical equipment company in the States that is donating medical supplies and equipment to the hospital, where it is desperately needed. St. Luke’s is in one of the poorest districts in the northwest Nile region of [...]

Lots to Celebrate

They didn’t walk across the stage individually to receive their diplomas – which is a good thing, since there were more than 9,000 of them. Instead, as each area of study was presented, the graduates came out as a group, singing and dancing in celebration of their accomplishments. The graduates were women – young women mostly, but also women of all different ages – who completed community education programs throughout Wakiso District, one of the largest geographical districts in Uganda.  To understand how significant this [...]

A great day

I had the pleasure and privilege yesterday of working with a young woman to help her prepare for an upcoming speech contest. Her story is an inspiring one of some of the issues and obstacles she had to deal with while growing up, and of how she overcame them – as well as the insecurity and self-consciousness she felt because of them. She expressed gratitude for the people and organizations that helped her along the way, and described how they inspired and motivated her. She [...]

Birthday Reflections through the Years

Spoiler alert: Today’s blog is one of the Stroll-Down-Memory-Lane ones that evokes the song, “Sunrise, Sunset,” from Fiddler on the Roof. It has to do with milestone birthdays. Like 13, when you become a teenager, and 20, when you stop being one. Like 16, when you can get your driver’s license, and 21, when you’re officially and legally an adult. And then, before you know it, you start getting mail from AARP and Senior Living facilities, and all of a sudden your Medicare card comes [...]