We have worked in the Mission of the Rosson sisters of Buyengero who help war orphans and anyone in need. You do not die of hunger but die from the bacteria in the water, since they have a lot but on the surface. This mission only had water for 3 hours per night, he found a sister and made sure they had 24 hours of drinking water.
It’s late afternoon when I get to Bujumbura, the airport is strangely big for such a small nation, but maybe it’s just how we Westerners think of it. In Africa the measures are different, you never see beyond your field of view, the horizon seems even farther, but now at 6,30p.m., All around is the dark night, we are at the equator and there is no real sunset as there is no true dawn. The air is warm but not really wet, the fault of the asphalt heated by the African sun or inclement weather? Keep reading: THE BENEFITS OF BILINGUALISM FOR TRAVEL
Patient, the friend I met in Italy, is waiting for me for an entry visa. I did not do it at home, perhaps because I always love to improvise. Because, I want to understand what the difficulties are in this country, everything is teaching. A man comes to meet me. In a short time, I have been helped by $90 Americans poured over to the Burundian police station, a new world?
Travel to Burundi
No, the whole world is a country, I only paid the price! With my new friends we stay at a house assisted by the Benedictine nuns, tomorrow we go to Cibitoke home of Patient. In the morning the sun rises early and the air of Africa comes towards me as the car runs along the road, a cross between a real provincial and a military, land, and asphalt, holes everywhere but goes on. I am reminded of the words of my maternal grandmother, daughter of sailors when I heard her say ” that man works like a Negro!”, Now I understand the true meaning of the sentence! Hundreds of people move on foot or even by bike with helmets of banana 2 meters high, piles of grass as big as clouds, iron is drawn three times the bike … crazy … !! I identify myself in the part, only the color of my skin is different. Once you get to Cibitoke, you begin to know the courtesy of this friend and his people.
Trip to Burundi
All the food is cooked in an old charcoal bonfire, a sort of built-in kitchen, we used it in the 50s! The weather here seems to have stopped but I like it all. We are close to the border with Rwanda and Patient takes me right there, where the boiling water flows. Dung and straw huts are home to poor families who are surrounded by naked children, working bricks, and charcoal. Everyone here works and the children break stones into smaller and smaller pieces to produce gravel. The soil flows and in my eyes, there are hot sulfurous springs that end up in a tributary of the Rusizi river that marks the limit with the Congo. I have to say goodbye to Patient because with Sister Angelica I start towards the heart of Burundi, we go to the Buyenger’s Missionor, where medical premises and an orphanage are being built. In that place I expect the work I have set for myself, to make the water of the mission possible.
How to travel alone in Burundi
I had some samples arrived in Italy, I had them analyzed and I found the right solution. The mission is in a country lost among the cultivations of tea, in a world completely new to me. I give instructions to put a “tank”, so they call them the cistern, on a raised floor made of welded iron, but their times are completely different from ours. I think of an alternative solution and I find out that they brought from the nearby mountain a pipe destined to ASENABU, the association of orphans, which passes under the garden of the mission. Sister Angelica of Cordoba (Argentina) and Sister Angela of Bergamo, have been washing for 25 years with the tanks that they fill in the only three night hours that the old aqueduct provides.
They boil water on the wood-burning kitchen, without knowing that in the height (we are almost 2000 meters SLM) it boils at a lower temperature, without completely breaking down the bacteria and then filtering it. I think of Italy and all the comforts we have … if they could have at least water always!! Cabbage is my job I just have to think well … and here is the lighting. Involve all the mission I dig a Tru (excavation) and I find the plastic tube, I do not believe my eyes!
We run on the wings of the wind with Angelica with her Rav4 towards Buja, at the Asian neighborhood to buy all the things I have already prepared in my mind. We travel all day and come back in the evening. The night is flowing fast and the dawn is ready for me, even Tana assists me and we make the connection in a definitive way. All day is taken from the plant and before evening the Mission has water from the source, and in the kitchen, I can finally mount the equipment that I brought to drink, a filter and a lamp with UV rays. Tonight is a big party, I sprawled a bit ‘little Kelita, mother orphan, who is 4 months old. Everything gravitates in a mission around her and in the evening she ends up like every time at table playing cards.
The weather here seems to have stopped at an age forgotten for us. You live with the rhythms of nature: there are no telephones, there are no PCs, there are no televisions, the rhythm of life runs on the road … In the night the neighbors listen to Afro music and I write my diary like every night, but tomorrow it’s Saturday and Monday, May 10th I have to take the plane to Buja, I have little time left to immerse myself once more in the Burundian crowd. Let’s go for a ride around the mountains and if it were not for the palms, I would say to find myself in the European mountains, only the skin color of the natives and the scent of the air convince me that I am not dreaming and that I am still in African land.
But tomorrow is Saturday and Monday, May 10th I have to take the plane to Buja, I have little time left to immerse myself once more in the Burundian crowd. Let’s go for a ride around the mountains and if it were not for the palms, I would say to find myself in the European mountains, only the skin color of the natives and the scent of the air convince me that I am not dreaming and that I am still in African land.
Tuzi and UTU
These nuns who spent the war between Tuzi and UTU, they call them electricians (Tuzi) and plumbers (Utu), they are so happy they are not in the skin. Now they can wash whenever they want and in the kitchen, Terrance, the cook, does not have to fill the catinelles and catinelles. Everyone is happy but maybe the happiest is me, on this trip I have fulfilled my desire for knowledge by simply providing my knowledge for a greater good … now the orphans of Buyengero have water.
I’m back in Italy and I already feel the pain of Africa, I’ll be back soon because this is just the beginning, I still have a lot to do. It takes very little to do good, we are on the right track and Africa has never been close to us like now, on the other hand, it is from there that everything is born … we are only returning to the origins. If you enjoyed reading our guide on travel to Burundi, don’t forget to share. You may also read: http://thecaseyjamesblog.com/bangkok-in-ten-words/