Yesterday was a holiday. Some friends and I decided that a picnic would be the perfect way to spend our day off. Now, usually when planning a picnic there isn’t too much strategy put in to it. You raid the grocery store, buy the food, and then go to your picnic location, and voila! You have a picnic. Divergently, in Burundi, a strategic plan needs to be drafted, ratified, and implemented with careful optimism and with plenty of room for changes.
First a list of food items needs to be drafted according to availability/price. With this done, the scavenger hunt begins. A minimum of 3 stores will be hit for various produce that they offer at the lowest price we know. If it is a holiday, some might be closed and subsequently items are crossed off the list. If an item is not found, the Asian quarter is a sure bet of having it and at a good price (imported from Dubai of course).
Location, location, location. Burundi is small, and has a lot of people. Thus, there really is not an area you can go where you are completely alone. Unless contained within razor tipped gates and concrete walls, you are a spectacle to be admired and stared at. A picnic complicates things even more because food (in Burundian culture) is meant to be shared, and if 50 people are watching you, and you’re not sharing…you’re being quite rude! In conclusion, we chose a stretch of beach between two hotels 7kms out of the city.
Perfect. Billowing clouds, placcid lake, mountains looming, gentle breeze, fresh food, and good friends.
With a little effort, planning, and good humor life isn’t that bad!