Wednesday, October 1, 2014

       We have just passed our first 6 months here in Bujumbura, so perhaps a short assessment is due.  SOMEONE SEND ME A BIG MAC!  I often feel like the Dynamic Duo, dashing around Bujumbura in our trusty truck all day long, bouncing through pot holes like old bobble-head dolls , dodging cars, bicycles, and motor bikes.  At first, it all was overwhelming, kind of a baptism by fire.  Now there is more of an understanding of what the day may hold, but it still changes unexpectedly and often.  Some days are really hard, and I am angry and frustrated and wonder what the heck possessed us to be here.  The next morning we get up, things look bright and sunny, and start all over again.  But in spite of the challenges,  I feel it is a great blessing and privilege to be here trying to serve the Lord, trying to do what we can to help the people and to further the work.  It is an adventure for our old age,  and we are learning so much about life in another part of the world.  We love the people we have met here and love having them be a part of our life.  We have had a great life, and this is our way of giving back a little time and effort to our Heavenly Father who has blessed us so abundantly.  I think we will be different people by the time this experience is over.  And that is good.

     We saw a young man wearing a black golf shirt with the McDonald's name and golden arches logo on it.  We asked him if he knew what McDonald's was.  He had no idea!  At last somewhere in the world McDonald's has not discovered!  In fact, there are NO fast food restaurants here in Bujumbura.  We also saw a "Flagstaff Golf" shirt on a kid, and the streets are full of sports jerseys with players numbers, names, and team names.  Remy has an attractive jersey with the #4, Eagles, and the name Kolb on it but has no idea who the player is or what sport this team plays.  He just likes the color of the jersey!  I think all of the cast-offs from U.S. closets end up being sold on the streets of Bujumbura.

     Remy leaves in 2 weeks for his mission in Benin.  He is concerned about his mother's house while he is away.  The worry is that it will fall down.  It already leaks,  the mud walls are unprotected from the rains, and the roof is not sound.  Branch President Dieudonne asked us to come with him to inspect this house.  Remy wants to strengthen the walls with cement, put 5 timbers in the roof. and fill in the holes  in the roof that let in the rain.  He is willing to do all of the work but would like the Church to help with the cost of the raw materials.  He is asking for about $400 to make the house stronger.

This long, brown house belongs to Remy's mother.  She lives in the space at the far left end and rents out the 2 spaces with the fabric in the doorway for about $6.40 a month.

You can see the unprotected clay bricks that are disintegrating in the rain.  This is Remy's mom's house.

The floors in the house will remain dirt, as there are no plans to do any work on the interior at this time.   There is no electricity, no running water.  The people in this neighborhood have about a 10 minute walk to the nearest source of water.

While there, we saw a couple of young men digging a new toilet.  One is down in the hole filling a bucket  with dirt.  The boy you see then pulls the bucket up and dumps it.  This toilet will be for the entire neighborhood.
This little guy was playing it cool and watching us from a distance.
These kids are part of the crowd we drew.  Nothing like weird looking "muzungas" to create a circus for the neighbors!!

No comments:

Post a Comment