Monthly Archives: Apr 2015

And finally, … for now at least!

Written on the flight home, early on 23rd April – St. George’s Day.

My first visit to Uganda in 1994 started with a train journey from Mombasa. So it is perhaps fitting to end with a short piece about what is happening to the railways of Uganda now. The first line from Mombasa through Nairobi and on to Kampala and then Kasese was built well over a hundred years ago and is of a narrow gauge construction. There is to be a new line from Mombasa through to Kampala provided a current dispute between the Chinese contractors and the Ugandan government can be resolved.

I read this piece in the Railway Magazine on the flight home ….

“Uganda set for rail revival? …. Freight traffic in Uganda is slowly increasing, although long-term prospects probably depend on the completion of the proposed standard gauge line from Mombasa, in Kenya, to Kampala, in Uganda. The line is being built by Chinese contractors and is now the subject of disputes between the Ugandan government and the contractors.”

This new line will be to standard gauge and there will be transhipment issues between different parts of the network.

The passenger service I enjoyed in the 1990s is long gone. New Vision in Uganda carried a story about the decline of the railways.

I did a little bit of research on the way home.

The government is considering developing commuter services for Kampala:…/kampala-passengerservice-planned.html

Two wikipedia articles are interesting, giving some good background information:

RVR (Rift Valley Railways) is the new franchise holder for the railways and is beginning to undertake some development work.

Guesting Well ……

One good indication of the difference between cultures is how we engage in hospitality. Jayson Georges posted about his experiences early in 2015 in on his blog. The story revolves around Russian New Year and also includes some pink slippers!

How we give and receive hospitality is of great importance to the building of relationships, no more so than in cultures where honour and shame are important dynamics..

Heading Back to the UK

I fly from Entebbe airport this evening arriving back in the UK after a short stopover in Amsterdam in the early morning. Jo and I then head off on holiday. I’ve enjoyed doing quite a bit of theological reading over the past 2 or 3 days and you can have a look at some of the issues I’ve been reading and reflecting on under the pull-down menu ‘Shame the Gospel and the Cross’ on my blog.

I thought it would be good to leave you with a series of different images.

First a variety of different images from Kampala which show the contrasts between rich and poor and which also show something of it’s beauty.

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I also wanted to let you see where Jo and I will be on holiday – so here are a few photos to finish the post.

The Cottage is called Tigh SgeirGael and it is sited  a kilometre or so from any other building immediately above the sea under the cliffs of Gribun on the Isle of Mull.

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Research on Different Cultures – Anxiety/Fear-based, Shame/Honour-based, Guilt-based.

A Culture Test has been developed by Jayson George which he hopes will provide some objective statistical cultural analysis. Every culture has a wide range of ways of relating and making judgements. No one culture can be described as having only one particular dynamic. The research seems to support this, but at present it is based only on a relatively small number of respondents.

It is also interesting that the largest number of respondents are from and Asian background!

Shame and Social Media!


Before you click on the link below it is worth stopping for a moment to ask yourself one question: “How important to me is the number of Facebook ‘friends’ I have?”

Jayson Georges suggests that when we seek our self-worth and value  through the following that we have on social media we are placing status above relationship, which ultimately is a pursuit of selfishness!

Honor and Shame in Africa

I have been working on a book for some time now about Shame, Grace and the Cross. I recently asked one of my college lecturers to review the work I have done. He came back to me with a lot of very helpful comments.

One of those comments asked me to reflect on how broad the consensus is between majority world theologians on matters of Honour and Shame and the Gospel. He could see a plethora of references in my draft to theologians from the Far East, but nothing significant from Africa or India and only minimal references to work from the Americas.

In the light of this I echo Jayson Georges’ question:  … What resources are available, particularly from Africa but also from India and the Americas?

An Afghan Wedding

Over the past few days I have been posting about my wedding experiences in Uganda. Here is an example of what can happen at weddings in Afghanistan and the incredible costs that cultural expactations can lay on the groom! The risk of shaming is significant.

21st April 2015 – Stephen and Brenda

I spent most of the day with Stephen and Brenda. They go back to the village tomorrow – to Rukungiri to share cake with friends and family who could not come to the wedding. They have a small house down the hill from White Crest away from the Entebbe Road and Lubowa which Stephen has been renting for the past 6 months. Enjoyed a big meal of matoke, rice, beans, meat and roast potatoes followed by pineapple and water melon. I had my first home made passion fruit juice of the stay in Uganda – something Jo really likes.

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I had quite a surprise this morning because in among my emails was one from Google+. I have an account with them but have never used it. Apparently their computers have been beavering away in the background creating different ‘stories’ with some of my photos over the past few years. They have just automatically sent me a link to a two day story that has been created from some of my time in Uganda. It happens to relate to the time in Kisoro and shows the two water tanks. So I thought I’d paste the link here just in case it can be read without a password:

And finally …. Jo will know what I mean by this …. so ask her. Just a little bit of a Nice moment! SimonPeter and Lisa’s dog has a litter of puppies.

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