Friday, October 17, 2014

     Saturday, Juvenal, member of a branch presidency, asked if we would drive him to his sister's house so he could give her a blessing.  Apparently she has been sick for several weeks and lives some distance from Bujumbura.  We agreed, and so that afternoon, off we went with Remy in tow to help give the blessing.  We drove south along the lake for about 30 minutes, stopping along the way to see the big rock where Stanley and Livingstone (Dr. Livingstone, I presume?) met.  Livingstone was a Scottish explorer/missionary in Africa.  The last 4 years of his life he was ill.   A New York newspaper sent Stanley to find him., since there was some question of his whereabouts.    They met in a little village called Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.  Stanley greeted Livingstone with the now famous phrase, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume ?"  This was a tongue in cheek attempt at humor, as Livingstone was the only white person for hundreds of miles.
Livingstone-Stanley rock in the village of Ujiji. 

Looking down the river towards the lake

Livingstone ultimately died of malaria and dysentery at the age of 60.
 We turned east, away from the lake and drove through a little village where there was a group of young men playing drums under a tree.  They do love their drums here in Burundi!

We continued on until we were told to park the truck, and then we got out and walked.

The walk was sort of uphill, winding through little houses in a neighborhood alive with children.

This was a beautiful area with a great view of the lake, very green, with red dirt like Hawaii's, many  crude houses and huts and lots of friendly  people.

We came to Junvenal's sister's house which was made of red mud inside and out.  Her house is the one on the right.

When we entered the main room, we saw a woman lying on a woven mat on the red dirt floor.  After greeting the family, Gary instructed Remy on how to anoint her head with the consecrated oil, and then Juvenal gave her a blessing to heal the sick.

On our walk back to the truck, we saw small herds of goats, green hillsides, lots of children,  and we took in the beauty of where we were.  I was struck with how blessed I am to be here, to be living in Africa, to be  a part of these people's lives.

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