We spit up and went to several different churches. The one I went to was interesting because it was in both French and English, which was nice! I also liked the part of the service where one of the leaders of the church asked anyone who had not attended in several weeks to please stand! I though this would be a great idea to start implementing at Community of Faith...don't you???
Church surprisingly didnt last too long, and afterwards, we headed to a restaurant called Belvedere, which has one of the best views of the city of Bujumbura.
After a yummy lunch we headed back to the hotel, and the group split up once again to decide what they were going to do during their free time. Some decided to swim and hang out at the hotel, others went to visit the Batwa village of Matara, where Community of Faith has helped secure some land for the people. And the fun people decided to go to the ZOO!
Now, the Burundian zoo is not quite like an American zoo...
It cost about five dollars to get in, and immediately on my right was a cage of guinea pigs. While the rest of the group marveled at how cute they were, the guide took one out of the cage. Now, I had been to the Burundian zoo last summer, so I knew better than to watch what was coming next. The group followed the guide over to a crocodile pit, where he proceeded to dangle the rodent by one leg, squeeling and screeching. At this point i turned around so I wouldn't have to see...but i did hear the poor things cries for help, the sharp snap of a strong jaw, and the crunch of tiny innocent bones! :(
After not watching this terrible incident, we went to see the chimps. They are like very naughty children, and always want to take things from you: hair ties, necklaces, cameras (almost got one of those!). But they are very sweet, and had sad eyes. One reached out and held my hadn just like a little person for a very long time. We storked each other's hands, and she looked at me with her sad, wise eyes. The other chimp, of course needed attention, too and I was shocked when i reached out my hand and he grabbed it and gave me a handshake!! They are so smart! then we played "patty cake" for a while, too!
After seeing several more crocs and a leopard (who was in such a TINY cage, it was awful!), I followed the guide into the snake house. Having been here before I knew it boasted a mix of poisonous and non poisonous snakes, everything from pythons, to cobras, to black mambas!!I looked behind me and realized that I was the first one there. Immediately on the left by the entrance, there was a glass cage that housed two skinny green snakes, whose french name i couldnt read. The guide begins to open the cage and says to me, "You can hold this one, I think it doesn't bite."
"Wait a minute" I said as he was pulling a slithery green snake out of the cage, "You think or you know it doesnt bite?!" The man laughed at me, and said he knew, placing the snake on my hands!! When the others came, we also got to hold a muscly python and poke at the cage of a viper to make him flare up! Ok well, I left the disturbing the vipers game to the guide, not gonna lie.
That was the majority of what we did at the zoo, and it was definitely a unique experience!
That night, we all gathered around the pool to eat what else, but pizza! There was an especially terrible band up singing and playing by the pool. however, for one song they did bust out "I feel good!" To everyones surprise, none other than JOHNNIE JONES (you have to yell it when you say it..) Went sprinting up to the stage and busted out some of the most amazing dance moves any of us had ever seen! Tables full of people we didnt know were clapping and cheering, and the kitchen staff even came out to watch!!
That night, Ashley adn I were supposed to be leaving at 340 AM to Nairobi, Kenya. We packed up and left for the airport. We pulled into the airport parking lot around 1 AM, only to see a plane taking off.... worried, Claude ran inside, only to find out that that had indeed been our plane that we had watched fly away. Apparently, they moved the flight up THREE HOURS and didnt bother to email or call us, or update their website...only in Africa I suppose.
After much arguing and rescheduling, we got tickets for a flight the next morning, and a rescheduled connection flight to Amsterdam. We got to the airport the next mornign extra early to make sure we would make our flight!
We took a flight that made a brief stop in Rwanda (Now ashley can say she's been there!) and then landed in nairobi. The one good thing about our new connection flight to amsterdam is that the only available seats were in business class (dang it! I wanted to sit in economy....)! Those seats even had in chair massagers! After an EIGHT HOUR layover in Kanya, we finally boarded the flight to Amsterdam. I watched one movie, then slept the whole way! We are now in Amsterdam, at the sheraton to shower, eat and rest, and leave for Paris at 450 PM and then to Istanbul!
I don't know when we will be able to update next, but we will try to as soon as possible!
Love you all and wish you were here!