Christopher Jaumoulle

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"Akanyoni katagurutse ntikamenya iyo bweze. "

My trip was not just a great adventure but a chance to discover another country, with a population and customs different from mine (a past, traditions). We had the goal of rebuilding a primary school in a village called MWEYA, over time it turned out that beyond the site, it is a much deeper experience than a simple trip expected. We did not know yet that when we returned, we would all have taken part of Burundi in our hearts.

From meetings to meetings, from town to village, from Bujumbura to Gitega, contrasting images drown in my eyes, for example, I remember the beautiful sunsets on the beach of Lake Tanganyika. Unfortunately these idyllic landscapes contrast with the realities of the country. It is common to witness the sad day-to-day lives of young street children, who are forced to eat the remains of a plate left on the beach.
This event will remain my first memorable memory. Here misery is omnipresent and life is not easy for these street children. It's hard for me as a young European to see such little children living in poverty and left to themselves.

Walking through the capital, it's all an excitement and a palette of colors that mingle with the smell of the central market of Bujumbura.
By tasting the fruits of the market, I rediscover the real flavors of a avocado, a pineapple, a banana, ...

Then comes the Forum in Mweya, it is therefore to bring together young Burundians, from different school clubs Human Rights, and the Belgians for the reconstruction of a school, but also to share our cultures and to attend together to civics classes. The work can really begin! And all this punctuated by the good mood and enthusiasm of young Burundians, mixed with songs and dances.

Quickly, bonds are woven and already friendships are born. I meet Candide, always smiling and a sense of humor well developed! She makes everyone laugh and communicates her enthusiasm and cheerfulness. Then there is Moustafa, Thierry, Alphonsine, Christa and so many others with whom we spend unforgettable days.

Another striking thing is the notion of time totally different from ours. We are learning to live at a different pace without the stress of Western life. Here we take the time to do things, to see each other, to talk to each other, to get to know each other. Villagers and young people are very welcoming and this welcome far exceeds what I could have imagined. With young people, we can discuss everything, they are open and curious. I feel in them this strong desire to rebuild their country and get out of the crisis they are experiencing. A tremendous breath of life and hope emerge. They are ready to rebuild as long as they are given the means to do so. But what appeals to me is the relationship between friends. They are more physical and it is natural to walk hand in hand with his friend, whether between boys or girls.

This experience of life taught me to relativize my problems, to return to the essential values ​​that are the family, the friendship, ... On the other hand, it allowed me to note that certain fundamental rights like the right to the education, drinking water, a minimum hygiene of life, ... are not yet acquired for all. Much remains to be done, but together, Burundians and Europeans, we can contribute to a better future for Burundi. We have a lot to learn from them, but the important thing is not to stay on prejudices spread by the media. Exceed that to meet them. Burundi was a discovery, a crush, a fulfillment for me, I remain deeply attached and marked.

Christopher Jaumoulle