Today in the food court there was a piano. The pianist, wearing a red Santa hat (naturally), finished “Jingle Bells” through the dull roar of shoppers, their winter coats unzipped, hats aside, while they sat and talked and ate KFC or New York Fries or whatever they happened to have.
Then a young woman, scarf thrown loosely over her shoulder, stood and put her cellphone to her ear. Strangely enough, she sang into the phone. And her voice, somehow, melodious and majestic, carried through the entire food court. Brows raised. Heads turned. Continue reading →
(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, November 15, 2014)
KAMPALA, UGANDA — It was still morning in Berlin on this Sunday when candles at the Church of Reconciliation were lit to honour yesteryear’s dead, the brave souls who ran from the uniforms and helmets and strong-armed authorities, who ran for freedom that was torn away, even as their flesh would be torn by barbed-wire and vicious dogs and bullets at that wall. Continue reading →
Ugandan neighbour kid to Jean: ‘Where are you going?’ Jean to Ugandan neighbour kid: ‘Crazy. Want to come?’ Ugandan neighbour kid: ‘Let me go ask my Mom.’ Is it the Canadian accent? ++ But when you cross borders there will … Continue reading →
(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, October 18, 2014)
KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ It’s hard to know what it means to be human some days, let alone a saint, but there are clues here and there, like in this novel, The Plague, by Albert Camus, where two atheists – one a doctor, one a journalist – have a brief conversation.
They’re in Africa fighting a devastating plague when one says to the other, “It comes down to this. What interests me is learning to become a saint.”
MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ The problem with university life is that it can bypass your heart and feed your mind directly with foolish notions about the work world, namely that some grand career will make you a personally large being.
“Hey, look at me! I have this job now. It’s who I am!”
And maybe you’ll win much of that war that’s so well-known around the world, that is the war to get ahead. Continue reading →
(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, September 27, 2014)
KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ Back in Africa, I’m not overly worried about Ebola on the other side of the continent or even al-Shabab terror cells like the one just busted in a slum here in Uganda’s capital – 19 Somalian suspects were arrested.
I’m worried more about my underwear. They could soon all be taken by my daughter and her cats. Continue reading →