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A difficult question, a simple answer

This column was written after my last trip to Uganda, in 2014. It was originally published in the Chanhassen Villager on 9/18/14. I still have difficulty answering a question that many people have asked me about my trip to Uganda last month: What did I do while I was there? I can list many of my actions and activities. Spending time with the young women in Ki-Mombasa that we are helping to break free from a life of poverty and prostitution. Distributing books, handmade dresses and teddy [...]

Enjoying a day of music, mangoes, and memories

This post is about one of my favorite days, and favorite memories, out of all my trips to Uganda. I wrote it after my second trip, and the column was originally published in the Chanhassen Villager on 9/27/12. Although it was close to midnight when we got home the night before, we were on the road again at 6:30 in the morning, traveling from Kampala to Iganga for my 9:00 program. I would be speaking to teachers at Buckley High School, which is actually a highly acclaimed [...]

In need of a miracle, and of people who care

This column was first published in the Chanhassen Villager on 11/17/11, shortly after I returned from my first trip to Uganda. The young women I wrote about have become the focus of most of our work in Uganda; our goal is to help them build a better life for themselves and their children. You'll hear more about them after I return from this trip. They are beautiful young women. Girls, actually, with many of them between the ages of 18 and 25, and some even younger. They [...]

Signing off for a bit

This will be my last “live” blog post for a while. Next week at this time I’ll be on a plane, somewhere between Amsterdam and Entebbe, preparing for almost a month in Uganda. We work pretty much sunup to sundown when in Uganda, and email and internet service can be spotty at best, so I know better than to even try to post anything while I’m gone. Instead, if I have my act together and get everything done that I need to do before I [...]

By |April 20th, 2018|Columns, Making a Difference, Travel, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

It’s Not Always As It Seems

During my first trip to Uganda in 2011, I went to Mass on Sunday morning with the only other Catholic in our group. We arrived early for the English Mass, and waited outside the church, along with the overflow of people who were there for the earlier Mass in the native language. We were a little confused when a collection basket was passed after Communion. Usually this is done during the Offertory, earlier in the Mass. “Maybe they’re taking up an extra collection for the [...]

By |March 16th, 2018|Columns, Making a Difference, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

A tribute to Sheri

I didn’t know Sheri very long or very well. But it was long and well enough to know she was a very special lady. We first met when I joined our neighborhood book club. At the first meeting I attended, we chatted quite a bit before the book discussion got going, and talked as much about writing as we did about reading. Sheri was an active member of the Georgia Writers Museum, which I was interested in but hadn’t been to yet. Our book club [...]

Miracles in Uganda

“The day was filled with miracle after miracle.” That’s what my friend Tabitha told me on the phone the other day. She was calling from Uganda, where she’s doing some prep and planning for the work we’ll do when she and I – along with several others – go back in a few months. For those who aren’t familiar with my work or my story, Tabitha and I have been on a mission ever since she read an article in a Ugandan newspaper about a [...]

By |February 24th, 2018|Columns, Faith, Making a Difference, Respect, Travel, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

Searching for ways to calm the storms

Until this past week, I had never heard of a bomb cyclone. But it’s formidable-sounding enough that I knew it referred to a nasty storm, even before I saw it described as “blizzard conditions and hurricane-like winds.” Shortly before Christmas, I saw a weather report about Winter Storm Dylan, which was dumping snow, sleet, and freezing rain in the Northeast.  Again, I thought, “I’ve never heard of that before.” I’m very familiar with winter storms, of course, having spent almost 60 years of my life [...]

A New Year Filled with Faith

I’m one of those people who still makes New Year’s Resolutions, and they’ve always been the subject of one of my columns each year – a practice I plan to continue with my blog. When I sat down to write this morning, I was all set to write about my resolution to deal with “unfinished business” – projects started but not completed, unanswered email, and some boxes and bins that still haven’t been unpacked from our move. But then I got a phone call from [...]

Back to school – and loving it

I’m going back to school. High school, that is, and today was my first day. One of the organizations I’ve gotten involved with here is the Georgia Writers Museum. It’s part museum, focusing mainly on three famous authors who were born in this area (Alice Walker, Flannery O’Connor, and Joel Chandler Harris), and part Writers Center offering classes and other programs for writers of all ages and stages. A new program just getting started is called “Growing Up Creative in a Small Town,” and it’s [...]

By |December 8th, 2017|Columns, Making a Difference, Writing|2 Comments