On the Ground in Burundi: Jodi Mikalachki


Sunday
Oct182009

Update from Jodi Mikalachki: Oct. 2009

Dear Family and Friends,
 
It's a foggy morning in the mountains, cool enough that I'm wearing a wool turtleneck and sweater, and baking rice pudding for Sunday breakfast. The rains have finally returned, almost a month late, and I've been planting parsnips, peppers, herbs, arugula, spinach, squash, and flowers. Still, unreasonably, I feel that it should be fall, that nights should be growing longer and mornings nippier. I wonder how many years it will take me to internalize the see-saw of wet and dry, rather than the wheel of four seasons that has shaped my inner life as much as my outer.

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Thursday
Jun112009

Update from Jodi - June 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

It's been great to hear from many of you over the last few weeks. We're about to start exams at the Hope Secondary School. Please do hold our students in your hearts. They've worked so hard and sacrificed so much this year, and for some of them, it's going to be a very close shave if they pass their year. I have another story I'd like to share with you. I love the stories you send me, too, whether it's an exceptional period such as a sabbatical, or the hopes, concerns, longings, and joys of everyday life. It helps me feel connected to you, and to the part of the world that has shaped me.

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Tuesday
Jun022009

Update from Jodi - May 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Misi myinshi, as they say in Burundi. It's been a long time. You are often in my thoughts, and I have composed many letters to you that I just didn't write down.

I'm reflecting this weekend on several anniversaries. I landed in Bujumbura last year on April 30th, exactly four years after I flew out of Johannesburg to return to the US. May 1st was my first full day in Burundi, and it happened to be Ascension Day last year. On Thursday we celebrated Ascension again (a bit later this year), and in a few days, it will be the first anniversary of my father's death. There's a lot to reflect on, and I ask your prayers for my family and me, especially on May 27th.

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Thursday
Feb262009

A letter from Jodi Mikalachki: Feb. 14, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of the day, I’d like to share a story of love.

You may remember that in December I described two boys – Jean “I Speak Even If No-one Listens” and Philbert “I Have No Home.” They’re the boys who cross the river and walk every day from the neighboring province of Karusi (at least a 3-hour round trip). Jean came first in the class at the end of the first term, and Philbert, tenth. I don’t think either has missed a day of classes since the beginning of the school year, despite their long journey and the prevalence of illness in this area.

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