Friday, November 14, 2014

     Some random thoughts.

     In Africa, every year 23,000 people die of snake bites.  So when Jean Paul sent men to our yard to take out all of the overgrowth, telling us that then the snakes don't have anywhere to hide,  I didn't object.  Also,  I thought 23,000 deaths a year from snakebites make Ebola seem like a much lesser threat, don't you think?  But the potential for deaths is much higher with Ebola.  Also the percentage of those that die is much greater.  As for snake bites, 1.5 million people are bitten each year in Africa, with "only" 23,000 of them dying.  Comforting, yes?

     At home in the US you just assume that everyone knows certain things.  I guess that I assumed that there are some things that everyone in the world knows.  I have found that that is not the case.  Their base of information is much different than ours.  That is, the things that they consider common knowledge do not extend to the US and vice versa.  For example,  the people we have met have never head of Elvis Presley, Walt Disney, McDonald's, or catsup.  And I'm sure that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  For example, just this morning we had to teach our guard how to move a hose in the yard.  How to screw it on and off.  And that is the second guard we needed to instruct in the art of hose moving.


     Men here wear pink everything, and it doesn't seem to affect their masculinity in the least.!  They don't have the same hang-up with the color pink that men in the US have.   You see men with pink backpacks, bright pink shoes, pink pants, pink coats, pink bicycles.

One more hang-up that they don't have in Burundi is that of men holding hands with men.  You see it all the time as you go down the streets, and it is an expression of friendship.  Women hold hands with women, too, but it is most evident with the men.  Maybe we should emulate their openness, their lack of fear of expressing a basic human emotion of caring for one another.  Anyone ready to try this at home?  Send photos, please!

1 comment:

  1. Hi guys- what an incredible mission experience you have had!! I'm surprised you are still alive!! Susann, you have written an awesome blog! Joan and I love reading it. We can hardly wait to talk with you and ask you questions about your experiences. Bob and Kay send their love. Stay safe! I figure you are about half way done. Love carl and joan