No sooner did associate editor Timothy Morgan unpack his bags from covering Billy Graham’s Tokyo crusade, than he was off to Uganda with Compassion International for this month’s cover story on the war against HIV in Africa (see p. 70). There he visited the Rakai region, where AIDS first emerged. And there he did not find a family untouched by the disease.
For Tim, known by the CT staff as a very good cook, it was an interesting culinary transition: from seaweed and fish in the Ginza to goat-meat kabobs and fried bananas in Masaka. The adventuresome reporter even learned to eat a local bean-and-cabbage stew without spoon or fork, just using his fingers and a dense, white cornmeal cake.
Life in rural Uganda is hard, despite the beauty of the countryside. Roads are unpaved, and a fine, red dust covers everything. Farmers tend small plots of bananas or coffee bushes. And having running water depends on having human legs to do the running. While visiting a rural school, Tim saw almost all the children, down to ages five or six, walk 300 yards with five-gallon water jugs on their heads to insure the next day’s water supply.
Tim found Ugandan Christians gentle and genuine—despite being the veterans of a bloody, 17-year war and now having to face another long battle: an epidemic of AIDS. The Ugandans were not always in agreement with how to meet the HIVchallenge, but they are united in their commitment to do their best against a common foe.
Winston Churchill’s remark about Uganda being “The Pearl of Africa” may still be true. But the HIV epidemic could easily destroy this precious people.
DAVID NEFF,Executive Editor
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