(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, March 15, 2014)
KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦Fear is a strange thing, which is why it’s so hard to look into the eyes of another human being that you’re about to gas or bomb or, in the case of Uganda’s gays, throw to the lions.
This is also why President Yoweri Museveni recently refused to meet with Uganda’s gay community – there were repeated requests – before signing Uganda’s infamous anti-gay law.
The new law means even touching with the intent of a homosexual act – try to prove or disprove this one – will get you seven years. Short of jail, a life-sentence for a single homosexual act, there’s obviously also a new chill on the street here. Continue reading →
KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ By now you’ve heard plenty about Uganda’s new toughened laws on homosexuality, the news that spread to the West with the fanfare of a dark sporting event.
Even short of jail—terms range from seven years to life—it’s a new day of survival in a horrible state-sanctioned chill.
Several weeks in, like so many things in developing nations, it’s hard to know all that’s happening. Was that murder really a robbery gone bad? And that street beating? Why did she really lose her job? Many things simply don’t make the news here in Uganda. Continue reading →
MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It’s International Women’s Day and we’re all happy to celebrate women in Uganda and around the world, but the truth of the matter is that it’s the men who need to come to terms with who they are and why they’re around, or it’s all for nothing.
This is the strangeness of this big yearly celebration. Women’s Day largely revolves around the hard times women face because their men are so hopeless. Plenty of husbands and fathers don’t pull their weight and don’t understand or care how desperately their families need them.
Now I am not about to beat-up myself or my brothers everywhere because I have nothing better to do. The Daughters of Eve are just as fallen as the Sons of Adam. But have an honest look into the homes of Uganda. I’m imagining you see what I see. It’s a bloody mess. Continue reading →
MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ Last time in this space we were talking about marriage, how good things come to those who wait, and about falling in love with our Creator, really, the One who knows us better than we know ourselves.
I shared that I was 35 before I met my wife and how there was something to this, something mysterious and with joy, the sort that you can’t contrive because it comes from a deeper place inside but also somehow outside of you too.
Even so, some days I wonder what in the world life would be like if I was single again, not because I don’t love and enjoy my wife and children – I do very much – but simply because any of us have an imagination and I suppose mine is as good as any. Continue reading →
MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ There’s new joy in our Mukono home these days. Our Ugandan daughter, Hannah, is now legally in our family. She danced when we showed her the formal adoption paper.
This, after waiting more than 500 days. That’s five hundred. Welcome to the world of international adoptions where you need the patience of Job to slog through it all. Adopting a child, especially in Uganda, can be this much of a roller coaster ride.
In our case, we’re Canadians in Uganda since 2005. My wife and I met Hannah in 2009, when she was three, in a Jinja orphanage. When she was barely larger than a cat, she had been found abandoned in an Mbarara hospital. Her family? Unknown. Continue reading →
(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, February 15, 2014)
KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ Okay, maybe it’s too late for Sochi, but I hope you haven’t forgotten about Olympic hockey in Africa. Yes, dear members of the International Olympic Committee, I’m before you to personally share the good news of a Ugandan ice-hockey team.
Of course, in Canada nobody says “ice” before “hockey” because Canadians realize hockey’s natural state is with ice, even the frozen-pond variety.
Uganda, on the other hand, is a place where some poor soul with a hockey stick in-hand might yell out, “We’re Manchester United!” before informing you that he’s a “striker.” But I’m working on this and I’m happy to report remarkable progress. Continue reading →
PDF Version with Illustration (The UCU Standard – February 3 – 16, 2014) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It’s soon Valentine’s Day and you’re alone. The flowers are out there and so is the wine, and much more. One would have to … Continue reading →
KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ If you’re too busy to read this, just ignore it. I mean, really, I understand. We’re well into 2014 and there’s some serious new clinking and clanking that likely needs your attention.
Yes, in our brave new distracted world, the one that never really turns off anymore, (I was recently in a funeral in Uganda where the cell phones rang and rang and rang), it’s a fresh year to slip further into it, this new place where it’s hard to know what – and who — is real. Continue reading →