Sunday, July 8, 2018

Goodbye France, Hello Burundi

By Ted 

After 29 hours of traveling (including road and air time), we made it to Burundi! The chapter of our lives in France has come to a close, and the one for Burundi begins. It is a bittersweet feeling to have left Albertville, where we had made new friends and community in a short 10 months, and all the while knowing that our eventual destination would be Kibuye, Burundi. And just when we felt like we had finally mastered routines and had established a sense of normalcy, we found ourselves uprooting once more. Moving from one place to a new one has been perhaps more frequent than ideal, especially since this is now the third big move in the past 2 years. However, now that we’re here in Burundi, I feel a great sense of arrival, having reached the destination we’ve been looking ahead to for the several years now.

Still, there is a great deal of transition for us here also. Our main goal these past few days has been trying to figure out how to live life. We find ourselves in a yet a new culture and new language (yes, French is the working language at the hospital, but Kirundi is used everywhere else). How do we get groceries? What kinds of food are available or not? What clothes are culturally appropriate / not appropriate for inside and outside the home?

In some ways, you feel a little helpless and quite dependent on those around you, even to be able to do the simplest of things.

Yet, there have been some pleasant surprises. Coke zero is available in glass bottles as of 2 weeks ago? Awesome. The electricity has been unexpectedly consistent lately? We will take it!

It’ll probably be months before we find a good rhythm of life and routines, like we had in France, and yes, I certainly look forward to that time. Until then, lots of discovery lies ahead...