Grandma & Grandpa’s visit
Well, let it not be said that we don’t get visitors here in rural Burundi.
Not only did our friend Karen stop in to visit us back in May while she was in the neighbourhood (aka only a few thousand km’s away on a trip to South Africa) – but Susan’s parents just left after a month-long visit
We have been able to share so much of what our lives are here – not only the parts that we remember to talk about – but the things that seem more mundane, or we have forgotten seemed strange to us when we got here.
It’s always a good reminder when visitors come when you live somewhere that’s not where you grew up – that some things are strange, you just have gotten used to them.
One weekend we drove down to the lake for a little getaway of warmer weather, the beach, and fun. While it was mostly rainy all day Saturday (which basically just doesn’t happen) – it was still warm enough to be in the lake. So between real downpours, and lightning blowing through – we still spent some time in the water and on the beach. Sunday was beautiful, warm and sunny – and not only that – but a bunch of our Buja friends happened to be coming to the same beach for a family fun-day. So we had a little worship service on the beach with friends, and just like that there were 12 more kids to play with.
The drive down is absolutely breathtaking. And actually part of the drive is almost-lunch-taking – especially if you’re one of the 6 people in the back of our ambulance-style Land Cruiser (one bench seat in the front – and small, bench seats in the back, along the outside facing each other)
The 3.5 hour drive sideways, along either really-curvy-mountain roads, dodging holes in the tarmac, or the dirt-cow-path-like ‘short-cut’ that we took between the two highways is quite the test of one’s ability to avoid motion sickness. Unless of course you’re the driver – and then it’s pretty much one of the most fun drives you’ve had in a very long time. Trying to pick the path of least resistance, around bigger rocks, deciding which puddle is less lake-like, whether it’s smoother off the road or on (answer: 80% of the time you have a choice…it’s off)
The video below is pretty shaky to watch – but that actually gives a pretty good idea of what it’s like to ride in the back on those roads
It’s was so fun to be able to have them see what our lives are actually like here. To be able to see the work that means so much to us. For Susan to have her mom be able to come with her to work with the kids in the hospital. To meet our team, to see the kids school, to see where they play, who they play with. To hear the Burundian drums, to see the lush green countryside, and the rusty red soil. To be able to get a better sense of what this place is really like.
I remember the same kind of feeling when people would come to visit us in France (for some reason we seemed to have more guests in the Alps….) that awareness that such a big part of who you are is more deeply known to people you care about. But here it seems like that feeling is so much stronger – probably because our lives here are so different that it’s harder to imagine, but also because we care so deeply about being here, the work that we get to be a part of, and what a huge piece of who we are now is this place.
They’re safely back to real winter weather, and we’ll celebrate our second Christmas here in Kibuye here in just a few days. So if anyone is looking for a bit of a mid-winter break…..