Author Archive

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Smile and Wave

This past week I traveled first up to central Burundi on Monday and Tuesday to work on the goat project, including to Ruyigi province in the northeast, which I have never been to before. Then for five days I traveled the other side of Lake Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to [...]

1 Comment » - Posted in All Quiet on the Quaker Front by andrewdasein

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

One Year in Burundi

I’ve been upcountry – in central Burundi – for the last couple days meeting with three groups of 60 people who will be taking part in a goat project for a grant I wrote a while back.  Like any good change of scenery, this has been a chance to reflect, in this case on the [...]

No Comments » - Posted in All Quiet on the Quaker Front by andrewdasein

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Steps Toward Democracy

Now that I’ve been here a while, perhaps some readers are beginning to wonder what I have to show for my time here.  Well, for starters, I wrote a successful proposal for $9,000 to do a goat sharing project to encourage cross-ethnic reconciliation (based on our previous work with such projects, such as I described [...]

1 Comment » - Posted in All Quiet on the Quaker Front by andrewdasein

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Tujijuke

There are words that qualify as interesting because, to translate them, it requires a phrase rather than just the equivalent word in the destination-language.  Then there are words, such as the Kirundi word “kujijuka”, which is, in the first-person plural of the verb — “tujijuka,” the name chosen by a group of women living with [...]

No Comments » - Posted in All Quiet on the Quaker Front by andrewdasein

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Odette Nahayo

This week we have been morning the death of my dear friend Odette, who passed away last week following complications from a pregnancy.   A memorial service was held for her on Friday attended by hundreds of people, an outpouring of support that showed the depth of her connection to those around her.
Odette was highly engaged in [...]

1 Comment » - Posted in All Quiet on the Quaker Front by andrewdasein

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Harvest

Tune by body and my brain
to the music from the land.
- Dave Mallett
It was back in November that our gardening youth group began clearing an overgrown plot of unused land, strewn with popsicle sticks and fading wrappers.
At the time, some were cynical, thinking that we should just plant ilengalenga, a quick growing leafy green that [...]

2 Comments » - Posted in All Quiet on the Quaker Front by andrewdasein

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Trauma Healing as Community Building

Today I’m writing from Kigali, Rwanda, where for the past 9 days I have been at a training for Burundians, Rwandans, and Congolese to become facilitators of Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) workshops.
At the same time, I’ve been reading Rethinking the Trauma of War, a book critical of programs that intervene in post-conflict situations [...]

2 Comments » - Posted in All Quiet on the Quaker Front by andrewdasein

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Development as Investment

One idea in vogue in some development circles is the idea that development projects should be run like financial investments. After all, if the invisible hand keeps factories producing things that people actually want to consume, couldn’t a similar model also keep development funds going to projects that actually produce benefits? For example, if a [...]

2 Comments » - Posted in All Quiet on the Quaker Front by andrewdasein

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Trauma Healing in Rurengera

This week I was upcountry in Rurengera for an advanced HROC workshop.  The three day advanced workshop is for those who have already attended the basic workshop, and goes into greater depth on the topics of trauma healing and reconciliation.
The workshop was somewhat dark – taking place in the crumbling remains of an old Friends [...]

No Comments » - Posted in All Quiet on the Quaker Front by andrewdasein

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Thanksgiving in Burundi

Like a number of people from the US, Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holidy, since it is focused around being together with family and giving thanks, with little material focus, except for on food of course.
And at least according to the mythology of Thanksgiving, it was from the start a multicultural event, so while [...]

1 Comment » - Posted in All Quiet on the Quaker Front by andrewdasein