Holiness in our midst – Session 22

Holiness in our Midst


My road trip to remember was in late January of 2002. The Sunday drive was from Nairobi, Kenya to Kampala, Uganda, where our delegation would continue on to our destination of the Sudan. The night before, I had a peaceful stay at a Catholic guest house in Nairobi. My room was simply furnished with a bed, chair and cold water shower; only a Crucifix hung on the wall. We were awakened early, but I was relaxed as I stepped onto the rickety bus and secured a window seat.

Three memories stand out from the trip. The first was the scenery along the way. We moved, at lightning speed, from one tableau to another of National Geographic-quality images that would have been much the same a thousand years ago: shepherds herding sheep and goats; colorfully-dressed women beating their clothes against rocks in the rivers; earnest preachers holding services under trees; children running wild and playing with homemade toys in between mud huts; old men telling stories with their hands on verandas; women carrying fruits, vegetables and cages with chickens on their heads, just inches from the road. A regret of a lifetime: the bus driver didn’t stop for photographs or much of anything, for that matter.

The second memory was of the border crossing between countries. We did stop when we saw boards with nails sticking straight up stretched across the highway. Armed officials asked us to get out. We considered ourselves fortunate that they searched only the bus, not individual suitcases. While we waited (and waited!), a touch of whimsy put perspective to the drama: a family of hyenas on a nearby hillside made noises and held their sides, seeming to laugh at the scene.

A third memory involved the trust of a boy, about five. As we were walking back to the bus after a late lunch stop, he came up to me and actually handed me his baby brother, whom he had been carrying. His brother was blind. Believing with all his heart that I would be able to make him well, he wanted me to take the baby with me. Through make-shift sign language, I thanked him for being a good big brother as I handed the baby back…with a few coins to get them through the next few days. We waved until the bus was out of sight.

My road trip ended at a hotel on top of one of the Seven Hills of Uganda. I could see Lake Victoria from my open air window. In bed, I stayed awake remembering the day in which I fell in love with Africa. In the distance, I heard dogs barking and Calypso-style music playing. Too soon the rooster crowed.


STORY CIRCLE QUESTION: Share about a memorable road trip.


  1. Read the above reflection aloud.
  2. Write a journal reflection about a memorable road trip. Where were you headed? Who was with you? What happened along the way?


  1. Read aloud Session XXII.
  2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Question.