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My Journey to My Birthday

As you are reading this blog, it's a national holiday in Burundi. Nobody went to work today. Do you know why? Because it is my birthday (and I am saying this modestly)

This date also marks the anniversary of my third month in Burundi. I have enjoyed every moment of it (most often leading to going to bed at 3 AM). I have met longtime friends, I have made new ones, but most of all, it is the first time I am with all my brothers and my mom since 2002. What a joy for my mom to have his two sons getting married just one week apart! It is a month she will remember for a long time.
While working on my wedding, I found time to meet business owners, government officials, superstars (at least one: Yvonne Chaka Chaka) and other service providers.

Out of the blue, one prominent figure here in Burundi called me a few weeks ago and asked me if I could help his organization achieve one of its goals: financial autonomy. I was both honoured and pleased to give a hand.

This last Friday, I found myself speaking to his staff members and partners about a system I have been teaching for years now. I had been used to this presentation, but this time it was like magic. I could see the light in their eyes. All of sudden, nothing was impossible for them anymore. After my presentation, they couldn't let me go. They started talking to me about their personal dreams, what they have achieved in the past, and so on. It was a blast

Suddenly, what I thought was a simple system turned out to be a solution for my country. Can you imagine if everybody was working on achieving their goals and dreams? There would be no time for fighting (that is my opinion). Man, I couldn't sleep that night. All that I was thinking about was to find out how my system could help as many people as possible. Before you knew, I called out my friends Machado, Nana and Adrien (and what a joy to see my wife joining in the conversation!) for a brainstorming session. Ideas started to flow like crazy. We are ready to make a difference in Burundi.

What I did not know at that time was that, behind my back, my wife was organizing a surprise birthday party. Boy she did surprise me. She had invited over ten of my good friends, two of them drove me away from home while the others were coming. Long story short, at 2 AM we were still talking, drinking (soft drinks for me lol) and singing. We are still laughing at my friend Kijanya's jokes. He is a crazy dude.
Moral of the story? Do you want a surprise birthday party? Just call out your friends for a brainstorming session and you will make a difference while having fun at the same time.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman


  1. Happy Birthday Patrick a.k.a. Journeyman! I hope you had fun at your surprise birthday party and you ate lots of good food!


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