I’m sat in a café having a snatched lunch alone, and I’m crying.
The sound of gunfire in the capital is normal now. Most people are petrified. Suffice to say, there’s plenty to make one weep right now after last week’s failed coup and the deteriorating political and security situation.
Maybe I should be embarrassed to be crying, but I’m not. Those watching me no doubt save their tears for tonight at home behind locked doors. A Burundian proverb says: “Amosozi y’umugabo atemba aja mu nda” (‘A Burundian man’s tears fall inside in his stomach’) – men aren’t meant to cry. But I need to. I’m bursting, just bursting with tears.
· My colleague Mariko told me just now his 3-year-old daughter Clarice is so traumatised by the shooting that every time she hears a gunshot she pees herself – she’s peeing herself multiple times these days. I’m so thankful (and almost feel guilty) that I’m one of the lucky few to have got my kids out of the country to safety.
· Cossette rings me, hunkered down in her hovel with her daughter and granddaughter, a gun battle going on outside. “What can I do for you, Cossette? I’ll do anything.” But I can’t. I can’t swoop in through the bullets and save my dear friend.
· My widower buddy Henri tries to keep his six children’s morale up. His wife died six years ago. At bedtime prayers, he asks them: “Who wants to live a long and blessed life?” All the kids respond in the affirmative, apart from 8-year-old Nico, who says he misses Mummy too much and wants to join her as soon as possible in heaven.
· Leonard texts me, and I feel anger for his invading my space with his text, because it’s one more desperate situation that I don’t want to deal with. His wife died in childbirth, so he has four children, including the surviving baby, and they’re starving.
That’s the smallest snapshot of a few of my friends’ lives right now. The GLO team is ready to save lives but we urgently need more resources. PLEASE HELP! We have 400 families right now whom we are committed to helping, and have trusted community leaders ready to disburse the urgent help effectively.
I promise you, through my tears, it’ll be the best use of your money today to click here and contribute to saving lives. Please, PLEASE, receive my friends as your unseen and as yet unknown brothers and sisters. You’ll meet them one day when all this is over and all things have been ‘made new’, and you’ll be glad to say you helped them.
Please also pray for lasting peace here, and share this with your contacts.
Thanks for being our friend.