Friday, October 31, 2014

     Branch president Jean Renee and his wife Jeanne d'Arc had a baby about a month ago.  This is obviously a cause for celebration, so in Bujumbura, when the baby is about a month old, the parents usually host a get-together to honor the new baby and to announce his/her name to everyone.  We were excited to get an invitation to this baby celebration.

     The party was held in the common courtyard in front of the family's home.

     The proud mama and papa and grandma sat on the nice sofa and Jean Renee (papa) offered a short speech in which he announced the baby's name---------Eliza Susannah.  (She has a third name that is more Kirundi or African sounding.  Ntiza?)   I mentioned once before about how they do their names.  The system they use makes genealogy so confusing I think I would shoot myself if I had to do genealogy here!   The parents choose a first name for the child, then comes the father's last name, and then comes a last name that the parents select which can be whatever they want.  Then that child's child will be named with a first name of the parents choosing, the last name of the dad, and a totally new last name.  For example, John Brown Smith's child could be George Smith Evans whose child could be Tom Evans Roberts and so on.  Husbands and wives and their children all have different last names.

This is Jeanne d'Arc, the new mom, and her new little baby.  

After the short talk, we were all served a delicious meal of potatoes, salad, beef. and peas.

 I got to hold the baby!  That was really fun, and made me miss my cute little grandkids at home.
Then they turned on the music for some dancing.  The music was great!  And so we had to dance!

     This was the most fun we have  had at a "party" here!   We, of course, enjoyed the traditional Fanta, but had a yummy meal, good music and dancing added to the experience.    I think Burundians value their social ties and relationships.  They are a very social people, spending most of their day outside with friends and neighbors and family.   They do their wash outside, cook their meals outside, go to the local market outside.  The weather is conducive to enjoying the out- of- doors anyway,  and the homes are too small to spend much time inside, so they spend their days and their evenings outside their homes,  interacting with others in their community instead of spending time inside, alone.

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