Monday, September 22, 2008

Bujumbura, Burundi

What a beautiful city.

The streets are riddled with pot holes and the traffic is a death march of every vehicles.  Humanity flows in and around the trucks, cars, motorbikes, and bicycles.  Every sense must be on alert or else…

“The man ran into me at full stride.  Through my front shirt pocket I barely felt my wallet be every so stealthily plucked.  I reacted instantly and grabbed at the man who had run into me (He had been following Jillian and I for a little while and I had already suspected he was up to no good).  He immediately began yelling at me as he passed my wallet to the next guy behind him on which I turned immediately, trying to formulate a sentence in French that would let them know of my intention to get my wallet back everyone else around me that I was getting robed. The crowd around us just stared at us.  My wallet was passed to a third boy and I turned on him, this time screaming as loud as I could.  He dropped my wallet behind himself onto the sidewalk.  They ran away into the crowd toward the marketplace.  I had my wallet.  The whole incident may have lasted 30 seconds. I laughed out loud as the realization of what had just happened and my very rash actions to fight the thieves for my wallet dawned on me.  Ah, Africa.”

Keeping alert is hard in a city that thrills the senses in every way.  The rainy season is coming and soon the air will be clear of haze and smoke from burning fields.  The lake will be clearly visible along with the Congolese mountains to the west and the Burundian hills to the east.  No wonder Burundi is called the heart of Africa.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Day 2 in Bujumbura...

Tons of God sightings...

Meeting Susie in line after our flight from BWI to NY was canceled.  Making it to Dullus in time to catch our rescheduled flight to Brussels (there was little/no traffic, seriously!).

Getting my visa with no problems and getting both my bags.

Having a bed to sleep in and a shower!

Being guided around Bujumbura and having 'my hand held' by the World Relief staff.

Feeling the presence of God and experiencing how great it is to be a part of the body of Christ.  I have brothers and sisters in Burundi.  I love meeting family.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A thought before I leave this country...

World Relief is such a blessed organization.  I feel blessed to be a part of it.  I feel completely and totally unqualified, but they brought me on, so jokes on them! Everyone I met yesterday were genuine and seemed excited for me.  I don't really know where I fit in yet, and I realize that the organization will feel different once I get to Bujumbura....

Baltimore...many homeless people wandering meticulously restored streets and parks.  This world is so broken, our Savior is needed everywhere.

Bujumbura...I will be there tomorrow afternoon.  Crazy to think about.  BRING IT!!


Monday, September 1, 2008

So little time...

In a week I will be at the World Relief headquarters in Baltimore.  Probably sweating nervously as I am introduced to people in the office and the reality of my internship begins to set in.  This is my first real 'job' ever, and I am very much intimidated.

I have less than a week in Blacksburg, Va.  A place that has been 'home' for the past 3 and a half years.  How does one go about saying good-bye to that.  Its the people.  Burruss Hall, the drill field, and Bollo's will all be here when I get back, but some of the people won't. If there is one thing that I have been trying so hard to do, is to say heartfelt goodbyes.  In essence to be vulnerable.

For the longest time I have been able to skirt a true goodbye with excuses.  The best of them completely absolves me of any blame.  I simply tell myself that whomever it is that I want to say goodbye to didn't care about our relationship the way that I did, and therefore would not care if I said a heartfelt goodbye or not.  Messed up, I know.  

I have realized the error of my ways, and now I am taking this leaving opportunity to say good bye. I love you. You mean the world to me. No matter where I am on this globe, I remember you, I pray for you, and miss you.