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Back in Bujumbura

We were not successful at hiring a car and driver to do a safari, so we took the bus back to Bujumbura. our flight is not until Tuesday, so we have a few days to visit the town and do some shopping. It also gives us time to relax, process all the events of the last weeks and prepare to go home.

Tonight is our first shower since we left the US. We did have hot water at one hotel, and were able to take a bath. This hotel is a shower but no hot water. I am completely exhausted from the journey. We spent over seven hours on a bus through the mountains, but not greyhound. Think 15 passenger van outfitted to hold five rows of four people each; plus three in the front: Now add an extra person or two in some rows; all the luggage blocking the door, and close all the windows because for some reason the Rawandise do not like fresh air. We had no breakfast or lunch, but did buy some snacks at a stop.

I am getting a bit ahead of myself because I am telling you that we had our first accident today, but have not yet explained the driving habits of Central Africa. They drive fast through the mountains and only honk to warn everyone to get out of the way. By fast I mean 60 mph or faster, on very narrow two lane roads with people walking along them. We were sure we would see an accident before we left Africa. We were right, as our bus was passing a slower truck a bus going the other direction came close enough to take off our mirror. We stopped long enough for the assistant – every bus has a driver and an assistant – to climb out the window – remember the door is blocked by the luggage- to be sure the side mirror was off and we were running again. The other bus never even slowed down.

The good news is that we have a few days here ) internet in our room and two cameras worth of photos to upload for your pleasure. The bad news is this keyboard isn’t American. So we will tell the whole story of our trip-but the grammar may be bad:

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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