Well, how can I sum up the past few weeks in Burundi in a single blog post. Not easy. Although we have tried to remain somewhat silent about all that is going on, it seems that Burundi has finally made the national news this past week, so I thought I would update anyone reading this blog about where things stand right now.
So, after weeks of political protests in the capital (Bujumbura), some of which turned violoent, on Wednesday, there was a military coup. The airport was shut down as were all the borders. Our embassy told us to stay at home and sit tight. On Friday, the coup leaders gave themselves up. That morning the embassy told us to stop sitting tight, and start getting out. Same message from the Canadian embassy. Apparentely the Rwandans and Congolese were one step ahead of us, because their embassies told them to get out weeks ago.
So, we are still in Kibuye, where thankfully, all has remained calm, and we are making plans to evacuate soon, across to a neighboring country (I was told I should not make public exactly where we are going). Two days ago, while there was a lull in the violence in Buja, 3 Canadian missionary families living in Buja came to Kibuye to get away from the unrest. They all moved into our quadplex of apartements, which we have now converted into our "Canadian refugee camp" (see photo below). Today 2 of the families found lice in their children's hair. Now all we need is an outbreak of dysentery to complete the refugee experience.
This is our families first coup. Although as I said we have felt safe up-country, there is still an element of fear for our safety (especially when they told us every possible way out of the country was blocked). There has also been sadness for this country that we have grown to love, compounded with the sadness of saying goodbye to all of our freinds here. So how do I deal with fear and sadness? I pray and I make jokes.
We are praying for peace here. We are praying for the families we are leaving behind. We know God is good and we know that He loves this country more than we do.
Canadian refugees. They can look so pathetic sometimes. I think I saw that guy at our local Bellingham Costco.