Monday, May 18, 2009

Burundi Final Story

So it has been awhile since the last post, finals have taken up most of my time. But I got to spend a lot of the last week with a refugee family from Burundi for my final photo project. I wish I could stay longer in Bowling Green to shoot them more but I leave for home tonight. They will have to wait until the fall.
Here are a few that I like. There are so many to show, but anyway..

The story behind this family is still hard for me to understand. They all speak Kirundi, a West African language similar to Swahili and mostly spoken in Burundi and Tanzania, and I have only picked up a few words and phrases.

This woman here Erina, the head of the family. She's grandmother to Evangeline, above left, and mother to the focus of the story, Josephine. She is a powerful woman and a bit intimidating to meet for the first time. She speaks the least amount of English out of the family but I try my Kirundi and she usually laughs. I think we're laughing together.

There is a large population of Burundi refugees in Bowling Green. Everyday I see new families and kids coming in and out of the their house. I wonder why so many Burundese are here and not as many people from more distressed countries such as Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

I'm heading back home to New Hampshire soon and there is an immigration office in Manchester. I'm interested to see what they will know about refugee immigration, especially in New Hampshire.