road-side market

Bujumbura, Burundi…what do you hold for us?

In November I travelled to Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi with my good friend Rob for a  scouting trip that we did for our families.

sunrise from the plane over Ethiopia
The sun rising over Africa, viewed from 10,000m above somewhere in Ethiopia

The purpose of the trip was to investigate Hope Africa University and to see what kind of ways our skill sets could fit in with what they are trying to accomplish.  I will be finishing my PhD this year – so we’re thinking about what will come next.  I’ve been in some preliminary discussions with a couple of Universities back in North America – but this opportunity to serve in Africa came up, and we are anxiously very excited about it.

banana for scale
The banana is for scale…no the bun is…nope. I guess the coffee cup shows the relative size of both.
Burundian break-down tow-truck
So….if I have a mechanical problem…”YOU” will come to my rescue. I might explore other options.
Bujumbura skyline towards Lake Tanganyka and DR Congo
View from the rooftop patio of a fantastic French boulangerie / patisserie in Bujumbura. Looking over Bujumbura, Lake Tanganyika and the mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the other side.

I’ll put up some more thoughts on the details of what we’d be doing there, and why, and how – but I wanted to just give you some idea of that this is the direction we’re heading – and give some sense as to what Burundi feels like.

African head conveyance
You know you’re comfortable carrying stuff on your head when you have a wheeled suitcase – that instead of pulling along the ground – you put on your head.
Happyness restaurant
I maybe a bit sceptical but…I’m not sure that’s my definition of happiness. OK -‘Happyness” maybe.

Of course there are similarities to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (where I was last May doing research) – but it was quite different in many ways.  Being 1/5 of the size – it just feels so much smaller. Not  anywhere the same kind of traffic, or noise, or commotion.  ( if you want a quick overview of the country, click here for one from BBC)

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Burundian carb-loading
Kind of felt like I was carb-loading at every meal

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Hope Africa University, Bujumbura Burundi
Sitting in on a marketing class at Hope Africa University
Rob, chicken, baby
Rob buying some greeting cards while the woman next to him with the live chicken adjusts the baby on her back
Riddler on Burundian roof
Not sure the guy working on this roof could have planned out his wardrobe better