Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Burundi, Betrayal, and the Kasubi Tombs

A few years ago, my father gave me some words of advice. He said that I had to be extra cautious about who I let into my life, because I wasn't good at reading people. There are many things my father has told me that I did not feel were accurate, but in this case he's 100% correct. I can't read people worth a damn. Due to an instance that recently happened, I realized I sincerely have no clue who's genuine and who's fake. There were two people in my life who I held rather close and thought respected me. I was completely wrong. I got double stabbed in the back, and it's definitely forced me to re-evaluate how I read people. It's unfortunately made me feel like I really can't trust anyone, and it sux.

We all lie from time to time for various reasons-we did something we weren't supposed to do and we don't want to suffer the consequences, we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, we're unsure but don't want to admit it, etc. However, I had no idea how much people lie, and I honestly believe I'm one of the more honest people in this world. I really don't like lies and deceit, and most of the times I have been dishonest, I later came clean cause I can't handle the guilt. Maybe that's due to my upbringing. From now on, I'm going to be extra catious about who comes close to me, because I don't want to get screwed over again and played for a fool. Moving on...

I went to Burundi! I had a three day weekend due to Good Friday, so of course I took advantage. I flew in (it only took about 25 minutes)and walked out of the airport to see the most perfect rainbow in my life! My roommate, Emma, took the bus and met up with me at the hotel. We had an awesome time, and I can say with much confidence that this was one of the best vacations I've ever had. I got to eat and drink things I haven't had in ages, and I barely spent a cent! Emma and I spent most of our time hanging with this one group of people, going to the beach (sand by lake Tanganyika), and just walking around the streets of Bujumbura. It did rain for part of the time, but when it did we'd just drink mojitos at Bora Bora, this cute little bar on the beach, and watch the storm.

Burundi's not drastically different from Rwanda, and it was nice to be able to use my Kinyarwanda. In Rwanda, us PCVs constantly experience the following situtation: We ask a stranger something in Kinyarwanda. They laugh for a bit and before answering the question, they always go "uzi Kinyarwanda?!" (You know Kinyarwanda?) In Burundi, it's the same scenario, except people kept saying "Uzi Kirundi?", which was a nice change of pace. (Other than a few minor differences, it's the same language). I got to jet ski for free, lay out on the beach, and swim in clear water with waves! I found Burundians (Burundese?) to be very friendly and outgoing. After visiting both Burundi and Uganda, I've realized how reserved and quiet most Rwandans are.

Emma and I danced the macarena with some teenagers, and they told us that we needed to spread the word that Burundi is a good country with good people. Therefore, that's what I'm doing through this blog. Without going into too much detail, let me just say that this vacation was much more luxurious than I ever could have anticipated.
In sadder news, the Kasubi Tombs burnt down. Emma and I were fortunate enough to see them about a month prior. From what I read, there were some casualties, during and after the fire. The Kasubi Tombs is considered a world heritage site and active religious place in the Buganda Kingdom. It is the burial ground for the previous four Kabakas, therefore, the Kasubi Tombs is a place where the Kabaka and others in Buganda’s cultural hierarchy frequently carry out important centuries-old Ganda rituals. The fire is truly a tragedy, and I'm deeply saddened to hear about it.

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