African university life

2014 March

Dear student who’s cheating: You’re rotting inside out

2015-01-13T10:38:19-05:00March 31st, 2014|Categories: Newspaper columns, The Standard|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The UCU Standard - Monday, March 31, 2014) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It’s a new day, a good day, a day when you’ll be tested. Yes, it’s time for another exam and you, dear UCU student, are out of bed, finished your breakfast and walking with a confident smile. This is why today is such a fine day: you know the answers, every one of them. Because you know the questions too. Nobody is suspecting that you’re a cheater because you know the game and you play it with skill

2014 February

What if the joy of singleness is just for you?

2015-01-13T19:07:33-05:00February 27th, 2014|Categories: Newspaper columns, The Standard|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

(The UCU Standard - Thursday, February 27, 2014) 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.

2014 February

This Valentine’s Day, fall in love with the One who knows you

2015-01-13T10:40:16-05:00February 14th, 2014|Categories: Newspaper columns, The Standard|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The UCU Standard - Monday, February 3, 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 be blind and half-dead not to notice. But you’re alone, a rose in the parched dessert, and you don’t know how much longer you can hang on.

2013 November

What suicide can teach us about fear and living freely

2015-01-13T19:12:15-05:00November 1st, 2013|Categories: Newspaper columns, The Standard|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The UCU Standard - Friday, November 1, 2013) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ Suicide is a shabby and shameful business, something that nice people don’t get mixed up in, yet here they are, two suicides in our university family, two young people who in separate incidents have left us with nothing but a disturbing ‘good-bye.’

2013 September

Attracting partnerships and fresh thinking in Africa

2015-01-13T19:12:57-05:00September 23rd, 2013|Categories: Newspaper columns, The Standard|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

(The UCU Standard – Monday, September 23, 2013) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ The old Yiddish joke goes like this. ‘Do you know what makes God laugh? People making plans.’ This is the mystery of it, of the Gospel itself, really. Even our lives, fragile and short as they are, are not ours to over-script. No, we need to open them to possibilities outside ourselves, and when we do, surely good surprises will come along the way. It’s as true for any person as it is for an institution like UCU. I was reminded of this while around the dinner table – twice – during my family’s recent season back in North America.

2013 March

Of grace, forgiveness and tears

2014-02-19T09:08:16-05:00March 30th, 2013|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |4 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, March 30, 2013) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ I’m the odd man out in a loose circle in the campus home of the university president talking about God’s grace, an unsurprising discussion because, besides being a university and my own family’s home, this is a nearly century-old theological training centre. The horrible news of late is the roadside murder of a young law student, John Otim, beaten dead with an iron bar for money that he didn’t even have.

2013 January

Here is Africa. Don’t be afraid

2014-02-19T09:23:53-05:00January 25th, 2013|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Friday, January 25, 2013) ARUSHA, TANSANIA ✦ Edward should be fired. I can't trust Alice. And our piano and laptop won’t resurface any more than anyone will know what happened to that $13 million. This is how it’s going around here. Not right here, actually. I’m on business one country over, just southeast from my home in Uganda. At the moment I’m drinking a cider of sorts, what the gentleman beside me called 'rotten apples,' a pretty good name, I think, for my recent experiences.

2013 January

New security plan is a good start; more now needed

2015-01-13T10:46:54-05:00January 14th, 2013|Categories: Newspaper columns, The Standard|Tags: , , |0 Comments

(The UCU Standard - Tuesday, January 14, 2013) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It was the children. “Daddy, daddy,” they said, unable to sleep. “What if the thieves are still out there?” Yes, to add to the rotten tally of 2012, at year-end thieves stole our electric piano, the one my children loved. Six days later, thieves got my bride’s laptop plus valuables from her purse. Two violations in six days from inside our campus home. It took our breath away. Six days.