Safe in Burundi

By: Eric & Rachel McLaughlin

Amahoro!  Not only has our team reunited in Burundi, but we are now safely installed in our home for the next three months.  Individual travel sagas may be coming soon, but we wanted to share a couple images of our world here.

We are 1.5 hours from the capital and about 2 hours from Kibuye Hospital, here in a little village called Banga.  It is deep in the Burundian highland hills, where the end of the dry season is only weeks away.  There is a Catholic guesthouse here, and they have two houses, a restaurant, and a classroom (among other lodgings) that we are using for the next three months to start learning Kirundi, the heart language of all of Burundi.  We will be using French as the language to learn this next foreign language.  We found a teacher in a local high school teacher currently on leave, and the community is perfect for starting (awkward) conversations with complete strangers.

The two houses are on the hillside, and our view is quite nice, only to get nicer when the rains come.  The view below is from the porch of one house, and the little building in the center is the guesthouse campus where we walk to class and meals.  The sunset is great.  There is a Catholic church next door with simply stunning a capella music.


Here is one of the two houses.  (The other is identical.)  A living room, three bedrooms, each with a bathroom.  No kitchen, since one is not expected to eat there.  Both electricity and running water are quite intermittent, but candles, flashlights, and large buckets of water reserve are in place to get one through the gaps.  Overall, this place is an answer to prayer:  Safe and open for kids to play.  Friendly community to learn language with.  Peaceful, in a location where we are all together.  A restaurant so that we are not spending all day learning how to prepare meals in a new culture (which yes, can take all day).

Slow internet is to be had via USB modems that work through the cell network.  So more to come soon!


Sarah Lorenz said...

So glad to hear everyone is there, safe and sound!

Emilio Fernandez said...

Good morning how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this I would ask you one small favor:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Burundi? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Burundi in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
28902 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely

Emilio Fernandez