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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

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 [...]

Almost ready for Uganda

As you read this week's blog post (unless you had set it aside for later), I am on my way to Uganda. While I'm gone, I'll be posting some of my favorite columns about previous trips to Uganda. I wrote the following column as I was preparing for my first trip there in 2011. The column was first published in the Chanhassen Villager on 9/29/11. “If anybody offers you sambusa, take it.” That’s one piece of advice that was given to me recently regarding my upcoming trip [...]

By |April 27th, 2018|Columns, Travel, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

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

A road trip brings a new train of thought

106. That’s the number of railway cars there were in the freight train we got stopped by during a recent two-day drive to Chicago. We arrived too early to check into the hotel where we were spending the first night, so we drove around for a bit. It was a small town, much like the one I grew up in, and it took us only a few minutes driving down Main Street to get to the edge of town. We enjoyed noting the various types [...]

By |April 6th, 2018|Columns, Family, Travel, Values|2 Comments

A day lost in meaning

The car radio was on as we drove to the health club yesterday morning. I wasn’t paying much attention to the commercial promoting a big sale, and couldn’t even tell you who the advertiser was. But the closing line caught my attention, telling listeners to “stop in today, and make it a great Good Friday.” That made me cringe. I immediately thought of the Bible verse about Jesus overturning tables and chasing the moneychangers out of the temple, saying, “My house shall be called a [...]

By |March 31st, 2018|Columns, Faith, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

An act of kindness cuts both ways

I saw a story in the news last week about a waitress at a Waffle House restaurant in Texas who went above and beyond to assist a customer who needed a helping hand – literally. The elderly man was having trouble cutting up his food, and told the waitress that his hands were “not functioning too well.” She immediately picked up a knife and fork and cut up his food for him. Another customer saw this act of kindness, took a picture of it, and [...]

By |March 23rd, 2018|Columns, Respect, Values|2 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

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

Watch this!

Super Bowl LII is now history. We watched the game with some neighbors, and I freely admit that I enjoy watching the game as much – if not more – for the commercials as for the game itself. Unless, of course, my beloved Chicago Bears are playing, which has happened just twice in my lifetime. We all agreed that we were disappointed with the commercials this year. “It seems like they’re trying too hard,” one of the neighbors said. We all agreed with that, too. [...]

By |February 9th, 2018|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Values|0 Comments