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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, [...]

It’s the beginning of a new life

Just call me Grandma. Our son and daughter-in-law just had a baby girl – their first child, and our first grandchild. She arrived almost a week past her due date, healthy and perfect. We haven’t seen her yet in person, but we are savoring – and showing off – the photos we’ve received. We can’t wait to visit them, after the new family has had a chance to settle in, get acquainted, and get used to a new life and routine at home. Most of [...]

By |January 19th, 2019|Columns, Family|0 Comments

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 [...]

The week before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the night, I had fitfully slept on a long airline flight From Uganda to Amsterdam, and then to Atlanta Where I’d finally be home to await our own Santa. The couple beside me were speaking in Dutch, So we nodded a greeting, but didn’t say much. I knew none of their language, they knew little of mine. But we somehow communicated, and things worked out fine. At one point, the wife tried to turn on her light. [...]

By |December 29th, 2018|Columns, Holidays, Making a Difference, Travel, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

A View to Remember

PLEASE NOTE: I’m taking a break from my blog for the rest of December, so this will be my last post until after Christmas. I hope you have a warm and wonderful holiday season!   I woke up a few days ago to a view so stunning I had to run outside – in my pajamas – to take a photo. This happens every so often, and my usual experience is that no matter how hard I try, or how quickly I move, I’m never [...]

By |December 7th, 2018|Columns, Holidays|0 Comments

Gifts that Can’t be Wrapped

The theme of our Toastmasters meeting this week was “Holiday Traditions—the Profound, the Silly, and Everything In Between.” Our Toastmaster shared a holiday tradition his family practices, which is to give each other gifts you can’t wrap. As soon as he mentioned this, my mind immediately envisioned large or odd-shaped gifts that are difficult to wrap. Or were, before the invention of gift bags. But that’s not the kind of gift he was talking about. He explained by telling us first of the grandma who [...]

By |November 30th, 2018|Columns, Family, Holidays|0 Comments

A Simple Gesture

A friend posted something on Facebook recently that really warmed my heart.  She had been in a coffee shop with several friends, discussing a difficult decision she had to make, and apparently got a bit teary-eyed while talking about it. A little later, a young woman stopped by their table on her way out, with a piece of coffeecake for my friend, telling her she hoped it would make her day a little better. I’m sure it did. And I’m going to try to keep [...]

By |November 23rd, 2018|Columns, Holidays, Making a Difference, Values|0 Comments

The Thanksgiving Question

“So— What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” It’s a common question at this time of year. With the mobile society we live in today, and with family members spread out across the country from each other, there are many more options than everyone gathering at Grandma’s house, which was a lot more common in days gone by. Not that it isn’t still an option. Many of our friends and neighbors have children and grandchildren, and for some of them, their house is where everyone comes [...]

By |November 17th, 2018|Columns, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

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 [...]