Saturday, June 20, 2009

A long awaited update...

This might be short, because we just got back from sleeping in a Batwa village and I am very tired!


Ashley woke up Thursday morning with her eye swollen shut! We still aren't sure what it was from, but Claude told us it was because "an ant walked over her eye"! Not quite sure if this was the right answer or not, but either way, it had gone down by that night. We spent the morning listening to presentations by Parliament members Ettienne and Liberate about Batwa spirituality and health. There was also a presentation by Evariste about education. There are 75,000 Batwa, and only 500 of them are in secondary school. Of those 500, only 100 are girls!

After the presentations, we had lunch, which included lots of conversation and eating fish heads and tails! (They were actually pretty good though!). Robin taught several members of the Batwa group Texan words like "Howdy!" and "y'all." Not to be outdone, Blake taught a man  to greet people with "Wasssuuup!" Then, we all headed down to teh shores of Lake tanganyika for volleyball and swimming (where Derek and Tom thought it was hilarious to pretend to be crocs and grab people's ankles!). 

Then, we got cleaned up and headed over to the student house to meet our students! This was a super-fun time of getting to know each other and exchanging gifts! We didn't get to stay long enough!!

After meeting our students, we went back to the hotel for dinner! This was our last dinner with our new Batwa friends.

Friday: Tyler and Sarah's 1 year anniversary! :)

Friday morning we went to breakfast, and then had a break to pack up our stuff and check out by eleven.  We moved all of our luggage into Derek's room, except for a small bag with a change of clothes.  

Claude and Kelley had the group over to their house for lunch, which was SO delicious! We then learned which village we would be heading to for the night!

Ashley and I went to the same village, which begins with a "B" but I can't pronounce it!

We drove about an hour and a half through the mountains of Burundi, and were greeted at the village with dancing and singing! We took a short tour of the village, dropped off our stuff, and hiked down to the nearby soccer field! It was a game of "muzungos" vs. Batwa, and the Batwa definitely won! After arriving back at the village, we sat around a campfire and sang and danced some more. After a while, we were invited into the main building for dinner.  We ate rice, beans, plantains, and goat kabobs! Some were wary of the kabobs, but overall, they tasted pretty good! Some of the group also had their first pee-in-a-hole experience tonight, too!

Because it was pitch black after dinner, we all went to bed (even though it was only about 930!)
I went into my straw hut and laid on my little bed of straw and sticks.  It wasn't too uncomfortable, but it was COLD! In the middle of the night, Ashley crawled into my bed with me so that we could be warmer!


We woke up at 5:30 this morning!!! Some of the village members lead us on a hike through the forrest in search of animals.  After almost TWO HOURS of walking steeply uphill, Derek finally told the guides that we were tired and wanted to turn back around. The only animal we saw was a squirrel!!!!! Instead of going back the way we came, the guides said they could take us on a short cut.  It was definitely shorter, but it was also definitely VERY uphill! We arrived back at the village tired and thirsty, but we did get to see a gorgeous sunset! I will definitely be sore tomorrow! 

After our hike, we ate a breakfast consisting of honey, bread, and peanuts.  It was during this time that we learned that a woman had given birth the night before!  We gathered up loaves of bread, bags of peanuts, oranges, and bottles of coca-cola, and went to visit the newborn and her mother.  

Afterwards, we were put to work! Saturdays are community service days in Burundi.  So, we helped the Villagers make mud bricks. We made an assembly line, passing blobs of mud to each other, eventually placing it into a wooden mold.

After the brick making, we taught the children of the village how to play frisbee!! We sadi goodbye and left the village around 11.

We arrived back at the hotel, where we washed up before heading over to Claude and Kelly's for lunch.  A muslim family that is friends with Claude and Kelley prepared the meal and it was very delicious! We sat outside on a large mat, eating and listening to traditional Burundian music played by a band whose leader is also friends with Claude.  We of course had to get up and dance (you should see Claude's Kick-back dance!)

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel, and now it's NAP TIME! We are going to Bora Bora tonight to have pizza for dinner! I will try to update more tomorrow!



  1. Hi Sarah and Ashley!! I so hope someone was taking pictures of the brick-making in the village!! I love you girls and I'm so proud of you!!

  2. Brick, how Fun! Sounds like you girls are having a blast! Thanks for taking the time to write and share your experiences!

  3. Hi girls, I think I would have a heart attack if Derek or anyone scared me by acting like a "croc" was getting me!!

    Sounds like y'all had great fellowship while making the bricks!

    That is really special, getting to visit the new born baby and the momma!

    Keep the updates coming!
    Paula Petritz