Newspaper columns

2020 February

Some roads less travelled in Nigeria

2020-05-25T20:11:00-04:00February 22nd, 2020|Categories: Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

EGBE, NIGERIA ✦ We're on our motorcycles — my friend Rick has offered me his for the afternoon — at a place called Prayer Rock. It's a lookout at the end of a bumpy, winding dirt road near this historic town in Kogi province, a brown patch of earth in central Nigeria that's been touched by Canada. It's my last day here. The spot seems as

2020 February

Settling for only the best

2020-06-20T07:42:27-04:00February 15th, 2020|Categories: Newspaper columns, The Standard|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ This column is about UCU’s new, yet-to-be-named vice- chancellor. But first let me tell you about the Ugandan who was happy to tell me about his recent marriage.“ Congratulations,” I said, before asking, “How old are you?” “Thirty.” I said congratulations again. “That’s a good age.” Then, like a good counsellor

2020 February

Hockey night in Uganda – remember this

2020-03-07T13:53:11-05:00February 8th, 2020|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: |4 Comments

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It’s hockey night in Uganda and you’re running, running, chasing that little red ball that’s, of course, (this is Africa), held together with just hope and tape. During a break, you ask a question. How old are you? “Twenty-one,” someone says. “Nineteen,” says another. "Twenty-two." Another

2020 January

FaceTime during African sunrises and other musings

2020-04-18T23:45:55-04:00January 25th, 2020|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ This morning I FaceTimed the family. Child Number 1, a musical girl, was having sinus pain. So I looked up there and noticed Taylor Swift and a hall of high school girls having a party. Looks like they'd moved from my daughter's inner ear. I suggested this may be causing her pain,

2020 January

The children of the Nile and a rhythm of rest

2020-04-18T23:43:01-04:00January 11th, 2020|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ So I'm back in this East African nation for a working visit. It's also a good time to get myself unplugged. You know, rested and rebooted. The warm days and the warm people and the children help. If you visit (and why don’t you, sometime?) you’ll know what I mean. The children of the Nile,

2019 December

Once upon a time there was you, and me

2020-01-31T14:43:34-05:00December 23rd, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

The thing about those wild once-upon-a-time stories is that the good ones are always more true than we imagine. They can touch us profoundly. So here’s one: Once upon a time there was a little girl. A lost girl. Before I share more, though, let me say, as if it needs saying, that being lost is no fun.

2019 December

Waiting and living: an Advent reflection

2019-12-14T14:03:28-05:00December 7th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Eat. Read. Pray. Fly out the door. School mornings this is the routine in our home. A recent reading was about waiting. Cereal went into empty stomachs. I closed the book and made a comment about slowness. The children’s mother said, “But remember, with God a day is like

2019 November

So, about the lowly toilet

2020-02-13T08:20:55-05:00November 23rd, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , |0 Comments

There was a time when I wouldn’t think about the lowly toilet. Nor would I consider the lives that each of us are born into through no doing of our own. If anything, during these autumn days I’d think about John F. Kennedy, the former US president assassinated November 22, 1963. That was just before my time