The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, April 20, 2014 KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ Forgive and forget is how the old saying goes, but you and I both know that it’s not worth spit, that we’ll never forget certain crimes committed against us, maybe even imagined crimes like those in a recent dream of mine. It was a nightmare with Africans carrying machetes. I looked out my window. The university grounds where I live was crawling with the killers. “We won’t kill anyone,” one said. He looked at me through a window of a bedroom where my 10-year-old daughter lay sleeping. “We’ll just cut your arm off.”
If there is one thing I’ve learned about fatherhood since the condition fell on me (like a piano out of a 4th-floor window) it’s that today’s fathers are perfect. Always. Yep. Every day. Sunup to sundown. And because today’s fathers, and mothers too, are perfect, they should be given great honour. I tell my kids this in subtle ways. For instance, [...]
We were in the car and Liz was looking rather thoughtful, the sort of look that kids have when you know they have something important on their minds, and she finally looked at me and said, “What if you and Mommy had a big fight. What would happen?” “We’d forgive each other,” I said. “Okay,” [...]
(Cont'd from yesterday) To finish the story of Gloria, the little Ugandan girl who is the thief –turned-family-friend, there’s not much more to say except that in the past days we have been robbed of items of far greater import than swimsuits and underwear. Twice. At Christmas in particular, thieves need to get on with [...]
(Cont’d from yesterday) … So after spending the night at the precinct, the girls’ families were found and informed of their mischief. We thought this was more or less the end of it, until the one, Gloria, the little Ugandan girl who had previously just about tripped while running away with the stolen clothing falling [...]
Somalia wants to move forward, but it has a horrifying past to deal with.
In Uganda, the land has uncommon beauty, and life has its own strange mix of dark memories of killings, talk of restorative justice, and forgiveness.