Monday, January 4, 2016

Saturday, January 5, 2013


It has been over 1 year since my time in Uganda.  And as that experience digested in my mind, so much has occurred.  I dropped out of school, played music around the SouthEastern US with some Vermont kids in a vegetable oil bus, lived at an abandoned racetrack, hitchhiked to and fro New England, and found myself settled in at Koinonia Farm back in South Georgia.  Now I have committed myself to an entire year of sharing this farm in the communal lifestyle.  Peace has been found.  Praise God.

I want to start a new blog called koinoniadaniel.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

blue red high night

One fifth of this adventure remains. Counting on my fingers, I want this fifth to be the thumb and not the pinkie. I want this to be the clincher. I want these weeks to be the most distinguished. With all but weariness, my summer here shall be finalized with the power of experience and the prayer for stamina.

Here is a poem I have worked on this summer:

Commissioned by the Roman guard, those men who built the cross,

so long ago when Jesus was a body in the crowd,

would never know the impact of that coming sacred loss

in mass-producing replicas of that same wooden shroud.


So many times I’ve heard it said in sermons here and there,

with so much pride, the reason why the cross our logo be.

“Isn’t that symbol like to our modern electric chair?

The glory of his death upon that alternated tree!”

“That is why we have these shrines, splayed up atop our steeples.

And this religion- unified. And our church here- you may now come.

Whether it’s hung upon the walls, the books, the necks of peoples,

because of it you need not worry that they may be Muslim.”


An easy way to move your goods in this consumer group,

is recreating that same cross that Pilate delegated

when Jewish priests-they delegated Pilate in their coup

to kill the King, the hard Truth, the Messiah predicated.

And still I think the symbol stands. Wherever it is found

is where attempts to muffle revolution are revealed-

where robes of high authority cast votes to cloud the sound

of Truth and how the kingdom rips apart our modern seals.

The path to usher Zion has been translated for all.

And what if, in theology’s thick mist, there was but one

green Gideon: It’s all we’d need to sound the trumpet call.

And we could start the era foretold by the risen Son.


But me, my symbol is the air that filled the tomb door gap

which Jesus breathed- the same air in my nostrils that abounds.

And me, my symbol is the ground, once having bouldered lap,

but angels threw it off so that the path to life was sound.

The cross is not the symbol of Jesus’ suffering. It is the gateway of his temporary submersion through death. Jesus who is God knew that He would boomerang back up.

In my opinion, the iconic image of Jesus’ greatest suffering was the constant misunderstanding that plagued his followers.

One kilogram of dirt, one kilogram of air, and one kilogram of diamonds have different market prices. But if I had to pick between them, I could do without the diamonds. In the Kingdom of God, rarity is irrelevant to value.

If God is love, abundance determines value.

When abundance determines value, we shall scrutinize the similarities, and not the differences, of the contents of this creation earth.

Look at the planets that abound from our discoveries. If we trod this earth, breathing this air, we all live in the rich part of town- as designated by God.

If I make a request to God for anything aside from the kingdom, do I concede to lacking an appreciation for the ten trillion blessings I already have?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the medical fire

Where did I flush my rubbish in the States?

In the compound I stay at, there is an abandoned well. Its where we dump our trash. I can release a trash bag and wait three mississippi seconds and "four miss-" before hearing it land.

At the school, all of the trash is burned. Today we cleaned out a shipping crate to make room for new bags of cement. In the back of the crate were boxes of expired medical supplies. You would accuse me of exaggeration if I told you how long it took to remove those things.

The adhesives and tapes holding the tools in their sterile environment had failed. Even the boxes were falling apart, so the children had to grab the medical equipment in armloads. They dumped it outside on the ground abruptly to escape the stirred cement atmosphere. Catheters, cast tape, gauze, blood sample cups, gloves, syringes, braces, respirator tubing, rubber pipes, patient gowns, splatter masks, biohazard bags, and pipette tips were strewn like entrails from the open crate. The crowd of children, adorned with doctor robes and neck brace crowns, piled the powdered gear into scrub-colored curtains and hauled it to a trash fire.

I helped in the collection with much confusion. My biggest concern was the safety of the children, but the teachers showed no lapse in confidence about the situation. At first I worried about the cement haze, but in Mukono town I see the hardware store workers loading cement bags onto the backs of the trucks. Their whole bodies are dusted like the surface of the moon.

A major fret was more inherent-- the mix of children and syringes. But these kids had enough sense not to take the caps off and prick themselves.

Today I helped children collect and burn mounds of expired medical equipment. I feel like the fire smoke still hangs around me as I regret not introducing the perfect solution. I want to pray to God for forgiveness, but I'm not sure what sins to confess. I pray to understand my guilt first.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Kabanda is the name of a local man whom I pay to clear land for the garden at HUMBLE school. With some people in Uganda, I wonder how much authentic culture is preserved within them. Some are so eager to prove their foothold on the paper trail of American trends, but not Kabanda. He is a simple man, better suited to an era where shepherds watch their cattle feed on the slopes of ancestral land.

He clears the weeds of the garden with a disillusioned enthusiasm and a methodical use of tools. He grips the tops of the grass with one hand and swipes with a hooked machete. The stumps he pulls with a classic steel hoe. But he is a tool too. Though fed well at the school, it seems he has been to the limits of sustenance whereby the precise conversion rate of food and labor were measured. Through some practical calculation he regulates the pace of his exertion. Every evening he walks off with his bike bearing the same level of weariness as the day prior.

When Kabanda needs a break he leans on his hoe in the field, surveying his progress and beyond. And if I approach him at rest, his nature is unapologetic. He knows greetings in English. Most words are likewise rebutted with a motionless expression conveying only trust.

His requested pay amounts to about $3 daily, but he also has meals and a place to belong. The cooks once passed Kabanda his plates of food through barbed wire above the school fence. Now there is a gate where he can enter and enjoy warm meals in the kitchen.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

candor of the chosen

Tribes and clans were spread across Europe, Asia, and Africa. All were developing under God’s supervision. But Israel was His chosen ones. What was it that made them shine in God’s almighty eyes? To them he did reveal Himself, as noted by the scribes.

They were not a faultless group, beginning with Jacob, who stole his brother’s inheritance. And David was no angel saint. So what defines their true distinction? I think it is their candor. Look at the Egyptian pharaohs, who held the masks of gods. When maintaining a face of greatness, it is so easy to glorify a deceased ancestor or age. I can’t imagine who would make their lore detail the faults of Moses.

But now becomes an era of truth, where all the masks dissolve. And we can see so clearly now that congressmen are sinners too. So when one tracks the scribbled tales of every great landrace, the one that holds a light of truth- reveals the sin in man.

Friday, June 10, 2011


In the mornings I can watch the sun climb up banana trees. The clouds that cushion this event often declare some massive poignancy. But this morning, a wall of grey veiled the sun that was speckled with furrowed splotches reminiscent of scar tissue or stretch marks. Only in pen-hole gaps could the source of dawn be seen.

The birds here dash from all directions. These black birds have an oil-glazed coat that reflect a gleam of colors. Their bullet-hole eyes forever survey the green flowing landscape in search of excuses for flight. Sometimes their trajectory is nigh unplanned, they’ll dive right toward a wall, and they’ll have to maneuver away. They’re erratic like the grasshoppers they catch. And when they jump to soar their noisy wings flap like shaken rubber boots.

Sometimes I’ve moved and unbeknown disturbed a stalking crane. For such a large and noble bird, they land without much fear. I’ve seen rooftop edges in the horizon painted white with their droppings.

Some birds make unfortunate sounds, and a cluster can be cacophony. There’s ones that have a smoker’s cough. The laughing hawk is always amused at some private delight. The high-pitched weaver birds scream competing “chalps.”

For a country where English is predominant, there’s a communication barrier when conversing with the people. Here in this Ugandan culture, a word to label white people is Mzungu. But mzungu doesn’t mean white; it means wealthy. I treasure the moments of true relations that I can share with some of the people here. I do not enjoy it when people make an abrupt divulgence to the want for cash to pay for this or that. I feel as if some friendships are predicated on financial reciprocation.

The soil of this nation is more fertile that the best American loam. The weather is great. Democracy has been here for 25 years. I fear that my pity is now part of this country’s GDP. I’ve shed a layer of idealism, but my faith in God is stronger. He led me here.