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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 long-distance lesson

“It could have been a lot worse,” we told ourselves. “At least nobody got hurt.” Well, except for the car, of course, but even that wasn’t nearly as bad as it might have been. I thought I should say that right up front, because if I started out with, “We got hit by a semi on our way to Chicago last week,” you might have gotten unduly alarmed. We had just crossed over into Indiana when an 18-wheeler next to us in the far left [...]

By |September 28th, 2018|Columns, Family, Travel|0 Comments

In a World of Our Own

Australia… Bahrain… Canada… China… Denmark… France… If you’re anything like me and you’ve ever seen the opening ceremony of the Olympics, you get a lump in your throat as you watch the Parade of Nations. I love seeing the athletes parade into the stadium, dressed in their team colors, and proudly displaying the flag of their country as they wave enthusiastically to those who are watching – from the stadium and from around the world. Germany… Guyana… Haiti… Hungary… India… Indonesia… As far as I’m [...]

Old Friends, New Saying

“Well, butter my biscuits, that was fun!” In order to fully appreciate that statement, you need to hear it spoken with a slow, Southern drawl – which, obviously, I can’t do in print. But I repeated it often after reading the saying – the “butter my biscuits” part and several variations of it – on coffee mugs, tea towels, and wall hangings in some of the shops and boutiques I strolled through last weekend. I was with some friends I haven’t seen in a long [...]

By |August 3rd, 2018|Columns, Quotes and Sayings, Travel, Values|0 Comments

Quiet reflections of a memorable trip

“Why are you silent?” Tony asked. “You aren’t talking.” “I guess I just don’t have anything intelligent to say right now,” I told him. Actually, the reason I was silent – and I admit this is not like me – is that I was lost in thought. Thoughts and memories on the morning of my last day in Uganda. Tony was driving, as he had been doing for most of the time I was in Uganda. I was sitting in the passenger seat, as I [...]

By |June 23rd, 2018|Columns, Travel, Uganda|0 Comments

A Rock Star Reception

Sometimes I felt like a rock star. Other times, like a zoo exhibit. It all depended on the looks on their faces. Surprise was always first. Then curiosity. And often, delight. The children usually smiled and waved. Some of the adults did, too. Or they glanced up and nodded, before looking away. Some stared. A few winked. “Muzungu!” I heard often when I was in Uganda. Mostly from the children, especially if we were driving very slowly due to traffic or potholes. Which is to [...]

By |June 8th, 2018|Columns, Travel, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

Problems go beyond the pale

Their hair and eyebrows are pale yellow or platinum blond. Their skin is whiter than mine, although they are African and their parents and other relatives have black hair and skin. They are albinos, and several hundred of them live in the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in southern Uganda. We visited with many of them during my recent trip to Uganda, and most of what I learned about them is heartbreaking. As you might guess, they have problems protecting their skin from the hot African sun. [...]

By |June 1st, 2018|Columns, Family, Making a Difference, Travel, Uganda|0 Comments

Where to begin?

  I’ve returned from Uganda, and I don’t know where to begin in telling you about the trip. I could start with our accomplishments, like the poultry farm and houses that are just about ready for occupancy – by hundreds of baby chicks, and by the young women who will be tending them. Or the two sewing centers we set up – one in a vocational school where the students are learning trades that will help them earn a decent living, and another in a [...]

By |May 25th, 2018|Columns, Travel, Uganda|0 Comments