Let's sell some oil
Februari 7th, Mutambu, Burundi
Dear all, Hope you all had a very happy holiday season and were able to share it with people precious to you! For those we did not see in the Netherlands, we hope that 2024 may be a year with wonderful new challenges and that you may continue to be amazed by the beauty around you.
Having lunch with my brother
Hugging our nephew
We were in Holland for a month and look back immensely blessed on a wonderful time. Yes, we were even grateful for the cold, tea, warm blankets, sweaters and cozy lights. Okay, and then of course all the delicious food (croquettes, cheese and Greek yogurt are at the top of the list). Funny how normally you get tired of winter so quickly, but then when you never experience more seasons you can suddenly enjoy everything that winter brings. But of course we especially enjoyed spending time with our family and friends. How nice it felt to be back there making memories instead of catching up on phone calls. And we also got to see some snow, well perfect right? What we especially experienced during our time in the Netherlands was how tired we were. We have often written in our blogs how slow it is here, so it was not fatigue of the well-known Dutch busy days, but fatigue that every day is so different than what you are used to. We were allowed to really unwind in Holland (we also planned it much more quietly than when we were in Holland in May) and reflect on the past six months in Burundi. We also realize that it is a huge blessing that we have the financial means to be able to go back to the Netherlands after only six months.
In Holland you have nice conversations about life here in Burundi. The other day I, Laura, had a conversation with someone in which I explained how nice it was that in Holland you don't spend time on 'life-work' (as a friend of ours calls it here). I sometimes say, you spend so much time here on the basic things, which we are not aware of in Holland. Grocery shopping means passing at least 4 shops, diesel means waiting for someone in the fuel-whatsapp group to tell you where it is, driving there and then hopefully not waiting too long, going from A to B means waiting for the cab (read: 10 o'clock is half past 10 anyway), everything here is cash so you always have to go to the bank, and no not an ATM but really a bank where you stand in line to get money. Oh and don't forget electricity: monthly to an office to buy electricity again and also gas is another connection to a nice tank. Last week we ran out of gas and well, then you have to spend an evening cooking on an 'Imbabura' with 'amatara' (translation: a Burundian barbecue with coals). But the great thing is also that it gives you lots of moments when you do have to take it down a notch. We learn from our coach "celebrate the waiting. Take advantage of all those moments to just do nothing. Surprised the word "burnout" doesn't exist here?
Cooking on an Imbabura
Rested and grateful, we boarded the plane back to Burundi 2.5 weeks ago. There we were sweetly picked up by friends and very quickly felt at home again in our little house here. Many people then ask if it is hard to land again, but actually we both felt right back at home here as well. Since we have been back, we have realized what a trust we have built up with our Burundian colleagues over the past six months. We started selling 15ml bottles of essential oil and organizing coffee-visits during the coffee season. No vacation plans yet? Welcome!!! Both designed by Jochem, new talent discovered!
Flyer coffee visits
Bottles of lemongrass oil
Bottles of eucalyptus oil
We really see it as a victory that we have now started the official sale of the essential oil and that also gives energy to move forward again. The plan is to have a distribution day next week where farmers can come and pick up the essential oil crops and plant more themselves on the coffee farm land. Also, in the next month we are going to look for a full time employee who has experience in farming and who is really going to be ultimately responsible for the farm. Step by step we are moving forward, but every step is 1! Ook heeft het team een tweedaagse training gehad in Farming Gods Way terwijl wij in Nederland waren. In Augustus zal er nog een week lang een training zijn waarin nog specifieker de principes van Farming Gods way worden uitgelegd aan ons team, waarna we hopen de community te gaan trainen voor het seizoen daarna.
Training of the team on Farmings Gods way
- For further development at Migoti and the oppertunity for us to be a blessing to the local staff and the farmers.
- For a new qualified employee for the essential oil company.
- That we live through Gods power and listen to his voice during the relations that we have and the work we are doing.
- A Blessing for Burundi, the people and the goverment.
- For opportunities to share the gospel with people around us.
- A blessing on continuing to build the essential oil business.
- For building and maintaining relationships.
- For the personal development that we went through the past year.
- For a place that feels like 'home' in Burundi.
- For everybodies financial and emotional support.
- For the blessed time in the Netherlands.
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