by Carlan

One of the encouraging and perhaps unanticipated blessings of God calling this team to Burundi is the incredible amount of musical talent present on our team. Readers of this blog will certainly be aware of Eric McLaughlin's guitar and vocal talents but Rachel plays piano and teaches music, John Cropsey has a saxophone in country and has played it for church, Jason Fader had led worship on the guitar to highlight only a few (and sorry to anyone I neglected).

But though she may not draw overly much attention to this, one of Michelle's greatest anticipated joys about moving to Burundi is participating in this musical milieu and partnering with Julie Banks to advance music literacy in all directions, most uniquely our appreciation of traditional Burundian music.

So it is really no surprise that when we were in Bujumbura at the end of our recent trip to visit the folks of Kibuye that music just sprung up around Michelle. In my years of prior service and visitation in Burundi I had never seen such an instrument nor heard it played with such skill in a traditional folk tune. Part drum, violin and guitar, this unique instrument proved mildly difficult for Michelle and Eric to play, which I take as a good sign that it requires substantial practice. I hope you are duly impressed with the umutama (elder gentleman) who demonstrated it for us and sold Michelle the instrument on the spot. Enjoy!