35 pages 1 hour read

Tracy Kidder

Strength in What Remains

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 2000

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Chapter 15-EpilogueChapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: "Gusimbura"

Chapter 15 Summary: “Burundi, 2006”

Finally, Deo and Kidder go to Mutaho, Deo’s place of residence when he fled to America. On the way, Deo explains he has had nightmares; Kidder suggests he can back out on the trip ,but Deo persists. Deo cries out when they cross the Mubarazi River: He had to cross this river twice when he fled from Mutaho. They pass a roadside memorial—a rare sight in Burundi. It marks the school where Deo’s cousin Genevieve was maimed; as it turns out, the school’s headmaster colluded in the attack on the school. Deo becomes ill, but stays the course.

The scene at the rebuilt hospital at Mutaho is unsettling. A “doctor” shows them around; the outside looks normal, but the inside of the hospital is streaked with bird waste and they hear a goat in the hallway. There are no patients in the hospital, which their guide tells them has been avoided since the horrors there during “La Crise”—the current name for the war (219).       

Afterward, they go through Bugendena, which Deo encountered briefly during his flight. Both Kidder and their driver, Innocent, are afraid because of rumors that militias still patrol this town.