(The Hamilton Spectator - Friday May 31, 2013) JINJA, UGANDA ✦ It’s Monday and we’re on the road early, dressed up, driving the 90 minutes down a dangerous road, the road that we won’t drive at night anymore because we fear it may kill us. We arrive at the court in Jinja, a relaxed beach-town on Lake Victoria, to finally be told ‘Yes. Yes, everything is in order and the court is satisfied, and Hannah will never have any family outside of yours, the family she clearly belongs in.’ Hannah is the Ugandan girl who’s been in our home for almost four years now. We just need the final stamp of court approval to make her adoption official.
(The New Vision Online - Monday, April 15, 2013) JINJA, UGANDA ✦ It's Monday morning and I sit in a Jinja café wearing a bright tie, blue shirt, navy blazer and brown pants, but I’m wishing I could start the day over and wear black from my neck to my feet, everything as black as the black in Uganda’s flag. This, as I read the latest news report of Black Monday, the growing citizens campaign pointing out what we already know, that Ugandans need to mourn, to grieve, to be saddened for their deepening losses, losses from thefts of public funds that are key to the wellbeing of this nation.
KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ Once there was a little Ugandan girl who loved school. The girl, who had been an orphan when she was younger, loved learning new things and making new friends and pretty well everything about it, especially the stories. Maybe she loved school all the more because of her years as an orphan, which started in a hospital in Mbarara, in western Uganda, where she was left abandoned when she was barely larger than a cat. There she was given all she ever owned, her name, Hannah.
We know little about them, these grandparents—if they came to babysit on Friday nights or if they maybe played checkers with the curly-haired, laughing boy while he grew in wisdom and stature.
We’re in the air again, my family and me and today’s newspaper. This time it’s the Daily Telegraph, dominated on Page 14 by a large ad for the latest iPad. Beside it, a smaller story on how one in four U.K. teachers wouldn’t send their own kids to the schools they teach in. And below, a brief about a Pediatrics Journal study that shows obese youth don’t think so well.
Old age is not for wimps. We approach it, even from a distance, with trepidation. It’s like your second childhood.
When you get out in the fresh air of the world, you’re awakened to how Western countries have lost it, this ability to run barefoot in the grass.
While here in the heart of Africa, I think of Canada often. Fall is no exception.