Greetings from Bujumbura, Burundi! We arrived yesterday after a very long journey - 15 hours from JFK to Johannasburg, then 4 hour flight to Bujumbura. We were met my Deo's brother Peter and his new assistant Alyssa at the airport and were escorted to the Hotel du Lac which is a lovely hotel on a lake. I will try to post pictures later but was having trouble uploading them. There is even a swimming pool, and I took a dip right when we got here before we ventured out on a tour of Bujumbura. Peter and Aylssa showed us around the city - a big mix of extreme poverty and then areas of wealth with houses guarded by large high walls and beautiful landscaping. These extremes are right up next to each other - a big, guarded house with a swimming pool backing up to rows of shanties. There are many people on the street - most notably men - we kept asking where the women are, and the answer was "at home cooking, cleaning, etc" The few women we did see carried babies strapped to their backs and big baskets on their heads - quite a balancing act and a reflection of strength (those of you who have carried babies know how hard this could be).
We also went to see the VHW offices here in Bujumbura where we witnessed a delivery of medical supplies going to Kigutu tomorrow, and we delivered our two duffle bags of pajamas to go also. Again, I hope I can load photos later.
First impressions of Bujumbura: a beautiful place with a sense of fragility and the shadow of the tragedy of the civil war still very present. I am observing everything and taking it all in..That's all for now - more later from Kigutu and Village Health Works!