John Gee, a member of the Diocese of Edmonton, is currently in Burundi, working in the Diocese of Buye for a three-month stint. We welcome this guest post to the blog.
On Saturday I helped out at a Community Works project. Every Saturday, all over Burundi, people volunteer to work on infrastructure projects in their local communities. Originally the purpose was to rebuild what was destroyed in the civil war, but now that has largely been accomplished and new projects are being tackled.
I was working on construction of a new local government office in Buye, near the cathedral. We were pouring the concrete floor slab. Pouring concrete is not the same in Burundi as it is in Canada. There is no cement truck. The concrete is mixed in a shallow pit in the ground. Most of us formed a human chain to carry the wet concrete in plastic containers to where it needed to go. There were hundreds of people there, many of whom engaged in energetic singing and dancing to keep up the energy level. Bishop Sixbert participated, and the president of Burundi, who is Anglican and originally from Buye, was supposed to put in an appearance but was delayed. His advance guard did show up and helped mix concrete.