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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 [...]

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 [...]

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

Learning other languages is no joke

What do you call a person who speaks two languages? (Answer: Bilingual.) What do you call a person who speaks three languages? (Answer: Trilingual.) What do you call a person who speaks one language? (Answer: American.) It’s an old joke, but there’s probably as much truth as jest in it. I was thinking about that when I was in Uganda, where I am always amazed at the number of different languages that are spoken in a relatively small country, and the number of people who [...]

By |June 15th, 2018|Columns, Gifts and Talents, 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