Thursday, December 18, 2008

must travel.

I'm giddy with the anticipation of travel and adventure.

-Rafting the Nile
-Good times with friends
-18hours on a bus
-Bungee jumping into the Nile
-Ethiopian food
-Java House

Sadly, my camera didn't get here in time. So this will all be documented with my little point n' shoot.

I won't be able to sleep tonight.

Friday, December 12, 2008

go corporate...


What images come to mind? What feelings? Mm, there are so many. This single commodity has invigorated and stirred our senses for centuries. I myself am surprised at the precision with which I am able to navigate in a groggy, sleepy trance from my bed to the coffee maker at the wee hours of the morning. While many a blog entry and book have been written about this life changing substance, I will simply make one request.

If you drink coffee, go to your nearest Starbucks and buy some Burundi Kayanza Coffee.

Starbucks was recently praised for its investment in the Kayanza district of northern Burundi. In a country where 90% of its economic income comes from coffee and tea, it is so important to be able to have a company like Starbucks invest in it. Starbucks has also supported CARE in its clean water projects to displaced people in Burundi. They have also invested in community-development projects and farmer support centers.

Sounds like quite the symphony I am playing here for Starbucks. Well, its written from the heart. I usually am not the one to tell you go and buy from a big corporate enterprise. But basically Burundi needs all the help it can get to get its only commodity out there...would you help, please? Its trendy to consume beverages from little known regions of the world, right?

Monday, December 8, 2008

it's a holiday!

In the past few months we have had the normal (i.e. Christian/Political) holidays, but have also had a few last minute ones.  It seems that if you feel a certain day should be a holiday (which means you don't legally have to go to work) you can petition the government to make a certain day a holiday!!  Talk like a pirate day as a holiday anyone?  

Mostly this has been taken advantage of by the muslim minority here in Bujumbura.  Since Burundi's holidays revolve around Christian holidays (which they usually work through) and political dates, they have asked the government on several occasions to make some muslim sacred days national holidays.  So today in Bujumbura we now have a holiday! The streets are deserted and the internet is just a bit faster! 

Today is the muslim festival Eid-al-Adha.  The day that muslims world-wide celebrate the willingness and obedience of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as Allah had commanded him to. (As his namesake I feel I need to insert that it was actuality Isaac that was going to sacrificed, but was saved when God provided a ram...)  
Approximately 10% of the Burundian population is muslim.  Their numbers are growing though as new converts are offered free education and other economic benefits upon their conversion to Islam.  Muslims make up a large percentage of the shop owners and merchants in Bujumbura and are thus influential in the economic direction of this struggling country.  I feel they are yet another part of the population that the church in Burundi has not yet attempted to reach.  In a country that claims 90% christianity, they are indeed very unreached.