Thursday, December 18, 2014

     Do you remember when I posted about our new gate guard and how his little 3 year old daughter had died?  About 30 days after a death, the family then hosts an end of mourning party, officially closing the mourning period.  Our guard, Dieudonne, invited us to come to his family's end of mourning party which was held about 30 miles outside of Bujumbura.  We took with us the Branch President of branch 3, President Dieudonne, and the 2 sister missionaries who are currently giving our guard the discussions.

     When we arrived, we found that our guard had spent considerable time and effort in constructing a pieced together tent on the hillside.  We were led inside and seated at the chairs on the highest side of the tent, the highest on the hill.

People inside the tent were singing songs with great African harmonies, accompanied by one person on a makeshift drum.

 This is so great!  Somehow my camera took this picture, but it must have been taken with some special  effect that is available on the camera because it looks more like a painting than a photo.  Accidental art!

     After the singing and some talks, they started bringing in plates of food for everyone there.  President Dieudonne leaned over and whispered, "Don't eat that."  He sweetly made excuses for the four of us, saying that we would not be eating because we were fasting.  I guess if a local tells you not to eat it, you just don't eat it.  I still do not know exactly why, but  I assume it is because it may have made us sick.

     At one point, people were coming up to where we were sitting to take our picture.  It felt a little odd to have 3 or 4 people coming up at a time taking our picture.  Not long after the food was distributed, the 4 of us made our exit, walking down through the middle of the tent to the entrance.  We got to greet everyone on the one side of the tent with a handshake and a "Bonjour."  For everyone on the other side of the tent, we waved and said "au revoir."  They responded with waves and "goodbyes."

The amount of food served was impressive, as was the size of the tent and the singing.  This is a big undertaking for a poor family.

 We will leave you with a picture of some of the children.

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