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
“We are suffering. We are all suffering terribly.”This is what she said. I could see it in her face. Others told me the same. It was here at UCU. I listened. I was saddened. Disturbed. My heart broke. This is not how it was meant to go. Nobody saw this coming.
It’s been with surprise and sadness that, recently returning for some teaching at UCU, I’ve returned at this time of Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo’s passing. Not that I knew Nkoyoyo, who, by all accounts, was among the most remarkable of Ugandans.
The short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” is a story taught in my literature class at UCU. It’s written by esteemed American writer Flannery O’Connor. At its end, the grandmother, a character in a lady-like flowery dress, is shot three times in the chest. It’s a horrible and violent death. The rest of her family had already been killed.
(The UCU Standard - Monday, May 23, 2016) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It was in Canada and we were at a campy lakeside retreat, and it was a beautiful summer day and a gaggle of children were playing outside the large window near where we ate. My daughter, that is my adopted Ugandan daughter, Hannah, looked at me with a tear rolling down her cheek. I asked her what was the matter, and, looking down in shame, she said, “I’m the only black person here.”
(The UCU Standard – Monday, February 15, 2016) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ Yoweri Museveni. Donald Trump. Jesus Christ. Who would you vote for? (Okay, if you find it too hard to imagine voting for Jesus per se, how about someone with Christ-like qualities?) I mean, you can’t help but wonder what would happen if someone running for the presidency were to get up in front of microphones and cameras and scribblers and say something like this: “If anyone running for this office doesn’t do so with the greatest fear and trepidation, shaking and trembling from the moment he leaves bed in the morning, then he’s a hopeless fool.
(The UCU Standard - March 19 - April 5, 2015) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ As a boy I hoped for, and believed in, small and foolish things that at the time seemed big and sensible enough. Now I hope for things that are big and sensible enough to my children, even if I think they’re small and foolish to me.
(UCU Standard - Monday, November 17, 2014) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It’s a risky move, of course, to open up your Sunday morning message to questions. You never know who might ask what. But this is what happened last Sunday. The minister who I listened to had a post-sermon question-and-answer session and a woman stepped forward with what they call a show-stopper. Her voice quivering, she asked rather plainly and desperately, “So just how do you get saved?”