Happy Anniversary to us! A year ago today, we landed in Bujumbura, wondering what the heck we’d gotten ourselves into. And what a year it has been!

At the end of January, I celebrated my one year anniversary of leaving Denver and joining the State Department in this blog post. It was full of updates, reflection, looking back, looking ahead, evaluating. I feel like now, ten weeks later, it is too soon: too soon for another reflection post, too soon for another update on Burundi instability, and I sure can’t top my recent adventure posts.

So what should I do? I don’t want my Bujaversary to pass without recognition, so how about a photo essay? After all, a picture paints a thousand words.


Here are my travel partners and I, enjoying what we imagined were our last days in civilization, in Brussels, just before boarding our plane for our direct flight to Bujumbura.

It was such a precious moment: the memories of Brussels (and Manneken Pis), the awe of adventure, the anticipation of what we were about to encounter…

And then we arrived, to our new home, at long last:

View from porch

and our senses were overwhelmed with the new sights and sounds and smells of Africa,




They are an industrious, creative, hard-working group!




My co-worker’s daughter’s dowry ceremony. We felt very privileged to take part in the festivities, although we didn’t understand a single word. This was inside a tent that had been erected which took up the whole street right in front of her house.






Hiking upcountry in the beautiful hills and eucalyptus forests:


 And the oh so many amazing adventures:

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IMG_8524 The ubiquitous roadside markets with their luscious produce, in every village:


 Lots of interesting geology:


 And learning about the geography of the Rift Valley and it’s Great Lakes:

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Rift Valley

And sadly, the devastation from flooding, which recently wiped out several villages:







And our beloved hippos, which we visit most Friday afternoons at the Hippo Hole,           an embassy favorite





And fun with family:


And we made it. The exit gate as proof!

And sunsets to die for:


Alas, there are a thousand other photos to capture our lives here, but I guess this will have to suffice for now. If you want to see more, I think you’ll just have to visit. After all, we still have a year left to go!

2 thoughts on “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!

  1. Great pictures Babette! Thanks for sharing your adventures. Love the hippos and elephants. What kind of primate is that with the blue balls?

  2. Hey Babette! It’s Adam (and Abby) from the John Gray Sea Cruise in Phuket, Thailand. We hope you remember us from that wonderful experience.

    We thought of you and your husband, as Abby and I were looking for volunteer opportunities abroad and Africa came to mind. We have been meaning to reach out sooner, but have just been swamped. Better late than never! I will be transitioning jobs within the next few months and will thus get some extra vacation time.

    How is everything in Burundi? How is work? I’ve read some of your blog and you have some incredible pictures.

    All the best – keep in touch.

    Adam and Abby

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