Things I miss about Uganda

Now, don’t get me wrong. It is absolutely fabulous to be in the US with my people. That is balm to my soul. The smooth, lit roads and snazzy internet speeds are only perks of being here. However, over the last few weeks that I’ve been here, I’ve realized that there are several things I miss about Uganda.

1. Full serve petrol stations. There is no such thing as self-pumping stations in Uganda. Not only is it a blessed convenience, it prevents one from entering the ZIP code from where she used to live vice where she officially lives (vice where she actually lives when here) while using her debit card to purchase gas. Truth.
2. Doreen. Let’s be honest. Domesticity isn’t hard, but I’m a wee bit out of practice. Doreen washes, irons, cleans, and generally takes care of me. I *can* do these things, truly, but it’s just so… daily. I’m horribly spoiled.
3. Being recognized. If you had told me five years ago that I would miss being recognized, I would have fallen apart laughing. Though it still freaks me out when a store clerk or Askari (security guard) at a mall addresses me by title (“nice day, Reverend”) when I’m *not* in my collar, I’m sufficiently acclimated to it that I’m surprised when no one in this country knows me. Go figure.

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Art in the Library

The other day I went to the Ham Mukasa Library, the gorgeous and (relatively) new building on campus. The architecture is stunning, and I’m more than a little jealous that theology is not included in this building: we now have the old library building all to ourselves.  I knew that the library was going to…

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How to finish collecting your data

1. Get in the car to drive to chapel so you can go to Kampala directly after, and learn the battery is dead. 2. Wonder why you failed to get jumper cables after the last time you had to jump-start a car (not my own). 3. Freak out about getting to Kampala. 4. Go to…

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Queen’s cakes and focus groups

When I began the data collection phase of my research, I knew that scheduling the interviews, and especially the focus groups, was going to be exciting.  I knew the clergy interviews would be relatively easy to schedule; I know most of the clergy, and for the ones I don’t know, we have the bond of…

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Igniting an inadvertent firestorm

As we were wrapping up our discussion on the second half of Ecclesiastes yesterday, I inadvertently ignited a bit of a firestorm.  We were talking about how none of us knows the day that we will die, and a student offered that his grandfather, at the age of 112, one day announced that he would…

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A new way to be invited

I am forever amazed at how obliquely polite people can be in Uganda.  Tonight, a student asked me to preach at the leadership handover for his fellowship on Sunday, which I am honored and delighted to accept.  But naturally, he couldn’t just ask.  The conversation went something like this: Joseph: Reverend, I am inviting you…

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Age, culture, and Articles collide 

Yesterday during discipleship, it was a bit rainy, so we shoved 10 people in my office. The way the chairs had to be configured, one of the girls was in danger of being shoved into a corner, and I said, ” ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner!’ Who knows what movie that’s from?” I thought…

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Love-hate Wednesdays

I have a love-hate relationship with Wednesdays. We start the day with Bible Exposition at 7:30 am, and end with discipleship from 4-6 pm. In between are meetings and lectures. It’s a long, but good, day. I always give my discipleship groups a lot of latitude in whatever they want to do for the semester;…

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UCU Chaplaincy’s YouTube channel!

Last fall, Amos asked me to bring an expensive piece of audio/visual equipment with me when I returned to Uganda, as the Chaplaincy wanted to start recording and posting their services online.  Once we worked out small little details like which model to get and last-minute add-ons, I had it packed in my carry-on, and was…

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