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Great Expectations

It was everything I expected it to be, and more – which I also expected. I wrote last week about the Toastmasters District Conference I would be attending over the weekend – my first in Georgia, although I attended many when I lived in Minnesota. I expected to see a few people there whom I already knew, as well as to meet and get to know many others – and I did. I expected the educational sessions to be not only educational, but inspiring and [...]

By |May 3rd, 2019|Columns, Toastmasters, Uganda|4 Comments

Coming home

Note from Betty: Sometimes, as I'm writing my blog, I know what I want to say but the words just won't cooperate. That's what happened last week, and by the time I got the words right it was almost time for this week's blog, so I just waited till today to post it. My apologies to those who were wondering why there was no blog post last week! “Gee, but it’s great to be back home.” That’s the opening line of a Simon and Garfunkel song [...]

By |March 15th, 2019|Columns, Making a Difference, Travel, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

The Write Combination

I’ve been in a number of writers groups over the years. Some focused on writing and feedback, others on the business aspect of writing. Some dealt with a specific genre or required a certain level of expertise, others welcomed writers of all types and all levels of experience. I just joined a new writers group, and I’m really excited about it. Many members of the group are published authors in a variety of genres, and everyone I’ve met so far has provided thoughtful and helpful [...]

By |February 16th, 2019|Accountability, Columns, Success, Uganda, Writing|6 Comments

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 [...]

Giving and Going

“Some people give by going,” our pastor told the congregation recently, “and some people go by giving.” He was talking about an upcoming mission trip, and about the different ways people help and support such efforts. Although I had never heard that quote before, I certainly agreed with it. In fact, it made me think of one of my trips to Uganda a few years ago. While we were there, we distributed some items that had been donated by people back in the States – [...]

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 [...]

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

Work by any other name…

“So—Are you retired, too, or are you still working?” A lot of people have asked me that in the year and a half since my husband retired and we moved to Georgia. And I’m never sure what to say. For one thing, I’ve done freelance work for a number of years, and it’s the kind of work I can do from anywhere. All I really need are a phone and a computer. And, of course, clients. How actively I want to pursue acquiring clients is [...]