|About the Book|
They Call Me Mzee: One Mans Safari into Brightest Africa is a remarkable, first-hand story of discovery, charting the social, cultural, and spiritual life of present-day Uganda, East Africa through the eyes of an intrepid and insightful narrator.MoreThey Call Me Mzee: One Mans Safari into Brightest Africa is a remarkable, first-hand story of discovery, charting the social, cultural, and spiritual life of present-day Uganda, East Africa through the eyes of an intrepid and insightful narrator. This unexpected and inspiring account unfolds as part memoir and part travelogue, as American author Lee B. Mulder revisits his journey from a pew in a Presbyterian church in metropolitan Chicago to thriving urban centers and remote village outposts located in the heart of equatorial Africa. Starting with his first meeting with the visiting Rev. Dr. Ben Tumuheirwe following church services one Sunday, and taking off with his eventual departure for Kampala in 2003, Mulder offers a colorful and engaging introduction and orientation to Uganda, recounted through anecdotes, interviews, and personal observations. Accompanying his informative and edifying portrait of this one African nation, rich with nuance in its presentation of historical, sociological, and political details, is an uplifting and moving, often humorous personal testament to a place and a culture where people seem to need faith in their lives in the same way they need air, food, and water. Over the course of successive visits and mission trips, Mulder develops a keen perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing Uganda and by extension many other African states and developing nations around the world. In conversations with notable public figures and civic leaders ranging from U.S. Ambassador Jimmy Kolker to Governor of the Bank of Uganda Emmanuel Tumusiimwe-Mutebile, and including an audience with His Excellency, the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the author learns about the major issues this emerging democracy has faced in its short history. These accounts afford an extraordinary opportunity to assess the relative success or failure of various initiatives and tactics implemented, often in conflict with international aid agencies and other governments on issues including poverty, economic development, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The revelations and analysis Mulder offers are astonishing: a drop in new incidence rates for AIDS from 38 percent to 5 percent in the course of a decade through a social behavior campaign promoting abstinence rather than condom distribution- sustained economic growth with low rates of inflation- achieving ambitious goals for public education- renewal and regeneration in communities devastated by HIV/AIDS, all evolving into a land ripe for enterprise and economic development. Alongside these discussions are the many events and encounters of Mulders mission work, played out during countless visits to schools, churches, and fellowship groups and bringing to life the sustaining and reinvigorating experience of sharing communal moments of celebration, worship, and candid conversation. Astute in observations and full of local color, Mulders stories both create a vibrant tableau of daily life in Uganda and explain the once-foreign idioms, customs, and points of view he now embraces in his adoptive second homeland. This compelling book provides a wonderful and thought-provoking presentation of the people and place Winston Churchill once called The Pearl of Africa. As it explores the implications and impact of global policies and often divergent secular agendas, They Call Me Mzee: One Mans Safari into Brightest Africa never strays far from the underlying rhythm of Ugandas spiritual life, sharing unforgettable personal stories of struggle, resolve and perseverance that are sure to inspire and generate hope.