Here's a little bit of insight, though, on the important "take-aways" from this recent trip. Thanks to each one of you who made it possible for me to go. I hope I can communicate a little bit of what I learned to each of you. So, here goes:
--The joy of having few agenda items. Being there to help where needed (moving bricks mostly) and to love people was our charge. It was simple, yet completely rewarding to come to the worksite and just be open to whatever God might bring my way, whether that’s praying for an elderly woman who suffers from asthma and has no access to a shot that she needs that will help her breathe more comfortably, playing Frisbee with the children, singing along in English or Kirundi with groups of kids or adults, laughing with them over my inability to pronounce words in their language, supporting others on my team. Every moment was beautiful and worth savoring. I loved not having a To Do list!
--In Africa, small children can play with scissors. :)
--Community – people need other people and they work together to provide for the needs of the community. In Gitega we were unable to obtain a permit to travel on a Saturday morning because everyone in the community is supposed to be out cleaning the roads. Imagine if we did this in the U.S. – everyone stops what they are doing and does something all at the same time in the community. Seems like it would make this a better country and help us be better neighbors and not as self-consumed.
There’s so much more. This is just a glimpse. I hope to go back, but if I never have that privilege, I am forever changed in ways that aren’t easy to put into words. Thanks for your patience in waiting to hear from me. I know it’s been far too long since you've gotten an update.
The people of Burundi thank you and are grateful for your gift of this clinic. I wish you could see the looks on their faces, witness their joyous signing and hear their words of sheer gratitude. You have touched their lives and their hearts.