re-entry: houston is not kampala

officially i have been living in houston for about three (four?) weeks now. (that guesstimate isn’t really very official, is it? oh well.) but have been in and out and around of texas for a decent portion of these few weeks (seewhatididthere?). this is a time of learning and learning and learning…learning a new city and how to navigate her streets, people and culture; learning a new job and all the components to doing it well and in jesus-approved/spirit-led ways; and learning who i am as a newly commissioned elder in the united methodist church, returned expat, former sheep herder, constant pilgrim etc.

something i can tell you about houston: it is not kampala. (the capital of uganda) this may not come as a surprise to most people, and in some ways was not a surprise to me. except for when it was.

i try to walk or use public transportation when i can, so have spent a lot of time wandering in these modes of transportation while i’ve been in the city. sunday afternoon after walking about a mile to church, and home from church and then to walgreens about a half mile away it finally struck me what was so different about walking in kampala and houston: people!

sure, there are people in houston–a lot of people, actually. houston is the fifth largest city in the country! BUT there aren’t people selling things in the streets–there is no mama selling bananas from a basket, no little shop built from scraps of wood where one can buy tomatoes and candles, no guy with a cart selling fruit…no bodabodas! (shame, i say) and no blanket-lined-corridors along main street where you can buy used books, new shoes, a rosary, newspapers candles, belts, sweets, cookies, airtime and just about anything else you could want. no wonder i think houston is so quiet!


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