Author Archives: Susan Burriss

December 17

Is This a Test?

The end of the year is a good time for reflection and New Year’s resolutions, a time of giving and receiving.  During my stay here in East Africa, I have often thought of the challenges I was facing, mainly having to do with the lack of modern convenience or unfamiliar concerns (e.g. bats, snakes and […]

November 19

A Time of Thanksgiving

For those of you who are reading this BLOG and happen not to be US citizens here is a quick lesson on the history of Thanksgiving, one of Americans’ favorite, if not yummiest, holidays.  And NO it is not just because we get to overindulge ourselves with traditional foods and not feel guilty— it is […]

October 08


This expression is well known “a picture is worth a thousand words” and I completely agree that throughout history a single photograph has changed the world’s perception of a person or event, or it has become an iconic symbol for generations. For me, there are 5 photos, many taken during times of conflict, which are […]

August 25

Reliable vs. Variable-which do you prefer?

Since arriving on the continent of Africa I have come to recognize that two words “reliable and variable”, and their respective meanings, have much greater significance in individuals’ lives than what I would of previously thought.  During moments of self-reflection I have realized that my life has been “very rich” with reliability; variability is not […]

July 16

Pull, Push or Carry?

My first impression of Rwanda, beyond that of the beauty of the hills and the warmth of its people, can best be described by three simple words, PUSH, PULL or CARRY.  In a country the size of New Hampshire, known as the land of 1000 hills, with over 12 million people the roads are crowded […]

June 19

A single raindrop….

As I have been preparing to go on a 6 month GSK Volunteer assignment in Rwanda called “PULSE” strangely enough I began to think of myself as a raindrop. A single raindrop doesn’t matter much but it can evoke strong emotions: anticipation of a cooling rain, disappointment that the rain is coming and might ruin […]