Greetings from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in East Africa. It has been some years since I connected with you folks. Phil's very interesting recent letter about this Fall, 2006 being 50 years since we began our Freshman Year at Princeton in September, 1956 has spurred me to write.
As it happens I was back in the USA in late September, 2006 for a wonderful Portsmouth Abbey School 50th High School Reunion Weekend in Rhode Island. 17 classmates (out of 35) from our Class of 1956 came back which is a good number. From our class three went to Princeton: Denny Wright, Norm Reeves and myself. While in the USA I had delightful telephone conversations with two of our Princeton Class of 1960 -- Lee Fuller and Tom Kehler -- who were also my roommates at Princeton.
Much of my work these past years has been writing books on Africa. Some of these books are in Princeton University Library and at least one -- Once Upon a Time in Africa: Stories of Wisdom and Joy (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004) is listed on the Princeton University Website under "Books by Alumni."
My latest book is Small Christian Communities Today: Capturing the New Moment (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2005) which has been printed in both Africa and Asia Editions in 2006. It is presently being translated in Spanish and Korean.
While many people think of Africa as only filled with problems of war, famine, corruption and AIDS I am optimistic for the future. Julius Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania, once said, "In Africa we have problems, but we remain cheerful." Your probably read about the new economic ties between China and Africa in the New York Times. The African people have taught me many things over the years. Despite the huge challenges and problems in the world with God's help we can make a small, but real difference in peoples' lives. Remember the African proverb that says: If you think that you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.
Even though I left the Class of 1960 after my Junior Year to go into the Maryknoll Missionary Priesthood and have been in East Africa for the past 38 years I am happy to reconnect. Go Tigers!