Every story needs a setting. To understand and tell this story, I need to share with you how the setting is unfolding through my senses. One sense at a time. This post is about what I see.
Mountains and hills as far as you can see. Always.
Right now, I am sitting with my feet up, looking over Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi. It is right at the northern end of Lake Tanganyika. The beautiful Congo mountains are just on the other side of the city.
The rainy season shower has come and gone for the day. The sun rays are making their way through the gaps of the remaining clouds.
Visited a washing station in Migoti on Thursday and I sat in a cloud. The clouds role in, over you and away. They are refreshing in the heat, and make the coffee growing here taste yummy.
Steep slopes are all around, with plots of land in different sizes, directions and with different crops. There is not much forest around, but I know there used to be. Houses and huts are scattered around.
Then there are people, people, and more people, and they are everywhere. This is a densely populated country, where most people live in the countryside. I have not spent one moment since my arrival without the presence of other people.
Then there are scary looking people. People in uniforms and carrying guns. They sit on the side of the road and they stop you. Or they drive past you, sitting in the back of an open truck in groups of ten. Five guns point in each direction. I do not have a picture of that.
I see goats, cars, and bicycles. I see coffee, and tea growing. I see fruits and vegetables, some familiar, some very strange. What I do not see is traffic lights.
I see fear, I see hope and I see pride. More on those later maybe. Don't understand it, just see it.