Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spider's Reflection

As I'm sitting here working on a proposal for the Bishop I can't help but be distracted by the spider on my fan. I have told you before about these funny spiders that don't build webs. They are attack spiders. They hunt their prey. Well the little guy walked up on my table. He marched up to the top of the fan base and stopped. He looked as if he had spotted his next meal. I was puzzled, there was no fly or bug for him to eat, what was he doing?
Well he had spotted the buttons. Now the buttons have been painted with metallic silver paint so that you can see your reflection in them. This spider was hunting his mirror image. It is so funny!!! He has been at it for 30 minutes so far. He has pounced and tapped, tried to bite and get a good angle, all to no avail.
Poor guy...but he get's an A+ for persistence.

Preschool or the Street

Today as I walked through the market a small hand was placed into mine. These little fingers gently grabbed onto my skin. I looked down, this hand was so small and dirty. It looked so different from my large, white, clean hand. I looked back at the face attatched to the hand. He couldn't have been more than 3 1/2 years old, dirty and torn clothing, no shoes.
This is a common occurrence at the market. Children are sent by their parents to beg for money. It's not because I'm white, just that I'm a person that they put their hand in mine.
I recognized the face. I stopped and knelt down. A little girl, with the same appearance came up. I said hello then asked them their names. The little girl giggled. It could be that I was speaking in Kirundi or it could be that I was looking at her and talking directly to her. The boy said, Steven. Her name was Bella.
Mom and Steven had a conversation about 2 weeks ago when they were here. I told him I remembered him. Bella again giggled. I tickled her belly a little and she continued to laugh.
Part of me wishes I will never see them again. That will mean that they will be in school or be cared for by their parents, not having to work on the streets. Another part of me wishes that I will get see them again. They were so cute, still full of joy. Next time I think I will give them a hug.
It's hard to cope with Burundi realities but I have to find the joy and humanness in it all or I would fall to pieces every time I go to the market and see such hopeless situations.
Lord please protect and guard Steven and Bella. May they one day change the future of Burundi for your glory. Amen

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


July 27
Have you ever been to a baptism of 500 souls? It was quite an experience. Watching 10 rows of 50 people each slowly move into the lake seemed to take forever. After they were baptized they stayed in the lake and had a party while waiting for the rest of the group. What an experience, may God be praised!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Mid July

Coming up the stairs I greeted one of the staff members here at Hope. The entire conversation we had was in Kirundi! I was so impressed with myself. It’s coming along.

Barbershop Music Anyone

It’s amazing how God provides. I’m blown away at his faithfulness each and every day. Brandon left for America and it was so hard to see him go. He had been a good friend from the beginning of this trip. When Javier, Stephanie and I would do something we always planned on 4 because we knew that Brandon would join the fun. When Javier and Stephanie left for the summer it was just Brandon and I. Things didn’t change. If there was something fun to do, it was done together. Because he worked close to Hope he regularly came over after work or for lunch break. Seeing him go was very hard. One of the great things about Brandon was that we attended the same university and both call Seattle home. Being able to chat about things from back home was wonderful.
It was amazing how the day after he left that my prayers were answered. God knew I needed a visit from someone. A group of singers came to visit. There were about 12 of them. All from Seattle! Some of them actually attended First Free, which is on SPU’s campus. I only got to see them one day but listening to them sing barbershop and bigband was a treat. After, I thanked them for bringing me Folklife Festival. They smiled and told me I was welcome.
God is a great provider, even when my needs are so small.


Late July
Driving in Buja is great. It stresses me out sometimes but it’s not that bad. When traveling to town I get all sorts of people wanting to tag along. It’s funny that I can pull out of the parking space on campus and before I even exit I can have 3 extra passengers. The van holds 8. As I drive towards town I see friends, professors and staff either walking to the bus or waiting for it. I happily stop and let on more people. I’m thinking about quitting the professor gig and taking up a taxi service…what do you think?


late July
Karen and Laurie wanted to go swimming and I begrudgingly went along. I really don’t like swimming; even in the Buja heat it doesn’t tempt me. I think it was too many times of Adam holding me under the water as a child.
We drove to 3 different pools before we found one that was open. The pool was huge and packed with little children. We were told that in 15 min the adult swim would begin. So I went on a walk. I found a soccer field filled with children. I sat in the grandstands to watch. I think that it was a PE class or something. There were so many children on the field!!! I counted 27. It was great to watch, nothing like PE soccer in Kent. These kids could play! I was so impressed by their skill with the ball and how they passed to each other. It was great to just be alone for a while and think, even though there were people all around. My thinking spot was found out by the driver. He came to inform me that the pool was ready. Super, I was thrilled.
Karen was the first in the pool. She said the water was cold. I was even more excited about this swimming endeavor. Laurie was scared to get in. I knew I couldn’t climb in but had to jump in, just like going into Lake Meridian. All at once, no hesitation, get it over with. It wasn’t cold at all. I was pleasantly surprised. 5 min later Laurie finally joined us. Karen swam her laps. I hugged the wall and Laurie did a little of both. My foot did manage to find a rusty pipe; after we put a bandage on it. Good thing I got a tetanus shot before I came ;) In the end I’m glad I went, perhaps Laurie and I will go again. That time I’ll hug a wall without a rusty pipe.

Living Museum aka The Zoo

July 22
There is nothing like going to the zoo to make my day. Karen, visiting from Michigan, and I decided to head for the zoo here in Buja. I really enjoy hanging out with Karen. I have to say that she might be one of my favorite people . We got to the zoo and there was a girl, about 6 years old, screaming at the top of her lungs. When I looked around and assessed the situation I realized that there was a chimpanzee, bigger than her just walking around the grounds trying to climb up on people. The officer who was with her had picked this screaming girl up to try and comfort her. The girl successfully climbed to the top of this man’s head in hopes to escape the chimpanzee. And this all before we paid and entered.
It didn’t take long to figure out that these three girls were sisters and spoke British English. Apparently their father works in the government in Burundi and so one of his officers was taking the girls, who were visiting from London, to the zoo. After a few more visits from Tina, the roaming chimpanzee, the screaming girl found me as a safe person to be with. We traveled the whole zoo together, hand in hand. Zoos are great to visit but there is something to be said for seeing animals through the wonder of a child’s eye.