My dear friend J.R.Goudeau invited me to contribute to her Questions of Travel Series in which she explores thoughts about experiencing cultures, engaging various people and reflecting on both people and places with respect. She’s gathered a thoughtful group of writers and practitioners to think and share together, and I’m honored to be included in this conversation.
As Claude and I are preparing for our summer, that means we are planning to host many friends. We will open our summer season with the Amahoro Gathering in Uganda, where we will welcome friends from across Africa and beyond for conversations about politics and the Kingdom of God, where we will connect around tables and let conversations linger as we walk on the shore of Lake Victoria at sunset.
We will meet many friends at the Bujumbura International Airport as they arrive to visit Burundi – some for the first time, but many for return visits to a land they already love. We will traverse the small capital city, go up country and take scenic routes along Lake Tanganyika. We will have the honor of sharing our friends with one another. There will be a lot of pictures taken (hopefully a few where my eyes are open).
We are in full out planning mode right now… and so I approach this Questions of Travel Series from the vantage point of a hostess. What do I hope for when I plan for our guests? What are the considerations beyond bottled water, hotel arrangements and mosquito nets? What are the things beneath the things that will really make this time on Burundian soil transformative and foster deep respect for the place, people and promise of this land?
Here is my short list… when we host you.
(P.S. If you get a chance, invite Tina Francis to come with her camera. She takes the best photos, captures those real moments and adds such spice to the experience! )