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125,000 YouTube views!

Did you know that I have a video on YouTube that’s had more than 125,000 views without my making any effort at all? I wish this blog had that kind of numbers! I recorded it back in 2009 when I visited Burundi with Edukans, an organization that promotes education in the developing world. A group…

Thoughts on my Burundi Adventure

I’ve been putting off writing this blog entry, and I’m not sure exactly why. I feel that I need to post something as a sort of summing-up of my Burundi adventure, but I don’t know how… I guess I’ll start with looking at what, if anything, the project achieved: The part of the project I…

Street Children

Kirundo, Burundi, August 9 Street Child There are a lot of street children here. They wander around town, dressed in rags the colour of the earth, and beg for money. So, of course, we’re a major attraction for them. They follow us around, begging for handouts, or sometimes just stand and stare. When we’re leading…

Twa Pottery

Kirundo, Burundi, August 9 On Friday we were taken to visit a potter, with one of the English teachers, named Claude, as our guide. On the ride there, which turned out to be very short, Claude told me that pottery is only produced by the Twa in Burundi, never by the Hutu or Tutsi. I…

English Teaching in Kirundo

Kirundo, Burundi, Thursday, August 6 The level of English, as I’ve already written, varies enormously among the English teachers we’re training (all of the English teachers in Kirundo province, I’m told). Some speak English quite fluently and comfortably, with an accent that doesn’t interfere with my understanding. Others, however, seem to struggle to form even…

Status in Burundi

Kirundo, Burundi, Tuesday, August 4 Social status seems to be a big issue in Burundi. We were certainly all aware already that there is a big difference between the poorest to richest here. It’s visible is lots of ways. Only wealthy people get fat, for example. Wealthy people have stylish glasses and shoes. Their clothes…

Tough Meat

Kirundo, Birundi, Monday, August 3 I was sick yesterday: stomach cramps at regular intervals, a mild fever, a headache and general aches and pains all over my body. The cause was the day before, I think. It was Saturday, so we did a bit of sightseeing. We visited a project Stephanie put together in which…

Feeling My Age

Kirundo, Burundi, July 31 I’m 47 years old, and the last time I was in sub-Saharan Africa I was about 26. I’ve realized here what a difference that makes. It’s not a physical difference. I’m keeping healthy (knock on wood) and I’m feeling energetic and strong. It’s more a mental difference. In my 20’s, traveling…

Fastidiousness

Kirundo, Burundi, July 30 We’ve organized our workshops into sets of four or five sessions per workshop. There are four main workshops, and the participants will rotate through all four by the end of the three-week process. In addition, we’re offering free choice workshops for an hour before lunch on smaller topics. Today was session…

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