> Exploring Uganda, 8/2004

In early August, after the intense days in Rwanda, I flew to Uganda with Duke Divinity professor Emmanuel Katongole for 6 days in his country. Donna met us in Kampala. For larger snapshots, click the first picture and join the journey...

Something about the children draws you in

Emmanuel Katongole: host, Ugandan, Duke prof, priest, and fellow member of our international reconciliation project. Our friendship is one of the most precious gifts I've received at Duke

Donna & me, loving every minute of Uganda

We stayed two nights in Kampala with Dale and Gann Hermon, new Mennonite Central Committee country reps, recently arrived from Durham. We had hosted them in our home before they departed, now they hosted us. MCC is doing faithful work with people on the margins.

MCC office door: Not a bad place to start

Meeting Bishop Ochola (yellow shirt), faithful peacemaker in Uganda's northern region where the Lord's Resistance Army has abducted 20,000 children, transforming them into killers. One million people are displaced by the trauma, with many "night commuters" fleeing into towns to escape abduction. The bishop's wife was killed by the LRA in 1997.

Outdoor Catholic revival service we stumbled upon

Two new friends, Catholic seminarians Stephen and Sebastian, the salt of the earth

"Mzungu" means outsider, non-African, "white folks," etc, namely us. But, no, I did NOT get the t-shirt!

Obligatory (Mzungu) tourist photo on the equator, on either side of the divide

Road to the gamepark: Tea plantation

Bananas of many kinds, Ugandan staple of life

Wonder to an near-addict: a coffee tree

Beauty and grace

First gamepark sight: Lion King's "Pumba," ugly, comical, and yes, grunts that sound like passing gas

Next sighting: 2 lions, 30 feet away, and this is NOT a zoo

Boat ride: 100s of hippos, just feet away

Bird-watcher's paradise: A fish eagle

Satisifed, heavily-armed bird-watcher

The lodge: Ah, Africa! What's not to love?

Exquiste, graceful Ugandan kob

Beasts on the plain

Donna & warthog: by this time we're sick of 'em

Elephant sighting on way out: pack of 14 right by the road

This baboon chased our bus. We stopped.

Crackers from the window

That's all ya got?

Peaceful Jinja, the source of the Nile, flowing here from Lake Victoria in background 4,000 miles northward to the Mediterranean

The surging Nile

Happy campers

The house Emmanuel and his brother Joseph (right) grew up in. How do you get from here to the Duke theology department...and not forget "where you from" and "who you is"? As we saw throughout the day, Emmanuel is connecting "two worlds" together

Small room where the 4 brothers slept, reading by this candle

Donna meeting Emmanuel's mother, me greeting Duke Divinity student Jay Carney, doing summer field education in Uganda

With friends in their "Share the Blessings" ministry, Emmanuel (better known in Uganda as "Father Emma") has helped dig wells and build a new school building. On the way to the celebration dedication, the students lined the road and sang. To the right said Emmanuel, "That's the church where I first heard the name of Jesus."

Students dancing at the dedication celebration

Emmanuel brought the students forward for a fiery speech about 4 virtues: hard work, education, honesty, and trust in God—principles from his father's life, a humble man after whom the school was dedicated

Some spontaneous dancing after the dedication

The beautiful native dress, the "Gomez"

Saying good-bye was hard, but we knew we'd see Emmanuel soon back in Durham

We will miss you much children!