Day 12 – Bujumbura, Burundi (16 November 2011)   1 comment

Yes, this post is late.  With the last minute details of leaving Burundi and then folks arriving in and leaving Kenya it didn’t get posted.  We had folks stranded at an airport when their flight was cancelled.  We had folks miss their flight when the road to the airport was closed for six hours due to a terrible accident.  Now Geri and I are on our way to Korea, having already made a quick trip to Malaysia.  We have Deaf people from many places in Asia and the Pacific coming for meetings and some of them do not have visas yet.  Please pray.

Burundi has about ten million people.  There is no accurate count of the number of Deaf but there is probably at least 30,000 to 50,000 Deaf people.  In the whole country there are only two interpreters.  My interpreter for the trip was Bill Ainsley.  He spent a lot of time with these two interpreters.  Here is a short piece he wrote, using third person.

While in Burundi, our interpreter, Bill Ainsley, had the opportunity to meet with the two interpreters serving the entire deaf population of Burundi…1) Nijebariko Alain Chabel (taller one in picture), and 2) Koudra Massepe.  (BTW, Bill is the guy in the middle.)
Neither interpreter has had any formal training, so much time was spent sharing “interpreter stories”…how to handle certain ethical situations, features of sign language grammar, cultural mediation, etc.  They ended up with 11 pages of sign language grammar items and interpreting tips!  These “items” and “tips” gave “titles” to what they have already been doing as interpreters, thus creating a mental toolbox of skills to strengthen their interpreting.  Bill wants to collect a box of sign language and interpreting resources to send to them (books, articles, etc.).  The sign language of Burundi has strong roots in American Sign Language, so if you have anything you can donate–please contact Bill at  Anything would be so appreciated!
The two interpreters have called 5 other interested people who are supposed to have met on Monday evening, November 21, 2011, to discuss establishing a National Interpreter’s Association.  (We haven’t heard from that about the meeting yet.)
They have asked us to pray for 1) their efforts in establishing an Interpreter’s Association and 2) their continuing efforts to recruit and train additional interpreters.
Bill Ainsley

One response to “Day 12 – Bujumbura, Burundi (16 November 2011)

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  1. Hello Harry, thanks for these posts, I enjoyed them very much.Thanks for taking care of Arislehidy and for this great workshop.

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