Bugs, Bugs, Bugs EVERYWHERE. Would someone please put my dad on a plane and get him over here??
It’s funny how you can go from feeling like you’re some experienced traveller who can “handle Africa” one moment, to feeling like a 6 year old girl in need of her daddy because she got bitten by something she didn’t know…and it hurt. I had a few moments of panic and drama and contemplated calling up our partner and asking him to drive me to the nearest clinic (about 2 hours away)…but I opted out of that one. As dad said, “it’s been a few hours and your not dead. You’re probably fine.” Good to know.
Today I left the wonderful Matana and have arrived in Gitega. I spent some time in a place called Rutana on the way and we walked out to see the agricultural and environmental preservation work they are doing. It was hot. Very hot. I watched people working the land in the blistering heat and I felt hot just standing there. They had been working for hours.
I heard so many stories of hope today. I met women – beautiful women – who have formed associations and started harvesting crops and making baskets to sell. They told testimonies of how they don’t get beaten by their husbands any more because they also have an income, which pleases their husbands. I’m not sure that means the problem of violent abuse is entirely solved – but its a step in the right direction. The support they give each other as friends also helps. They are becoming a force to reckon with it would seem – gotta love the sisterhood.
Sometimes you hear so many shocking stories that you just become de-sensitised to them. It’s a shame, because their stories are powerful and maybe if I took them on board a little more, something deeper inside me might shift.
They asked if I’d send people back to teach them English and share stories of London with them. I guess we’ll see :)
You know, it’s quite sad to drive past a well-built, beautifully kept, stained-glass-windowed church, standing prominently on the side of the road…surrounded by mud huts and people who have no running water or sustainable income. It seems that donors forgot that the church is a people not a building. Such a shame.
Anyway, the president of Burundi is in town apparently. Unusually there are three armed guards outside the room where I’m staying (always great to have to move the machine gun out of your way to get through your door) – so I’m wondering if he’s in the room next door to me?! On the one hand I feel very safe right now…on the other…they talk all night and I need to sleep. Ear plugs time.