Last night was how I always imagined my Peace Corps experience to be like. It all started on Friday night, I had 2 friends staying over my house and we were making tortilla chips. Which were amazingly successful so we realized they would be great with beans? So we set off to town to find some cooked beans. After asking a number of stores and restaurants, a women tells us to follow her. So we did and she leads us to her mother’s house where there are cooked beans. She gives them to us and tells us we must come visit her again. So on Monday after my friends had gone back to their sites I go visit her. I bring my laptop so we can watch a movie and I decided to watch Charlie and the chocolate factory. There were maybe 10-15 people gathered around my laptop watching me more than the movie because it was in English and they could not understand it. After a while we moved to my friend’s bedroom to escape from all the kids. It was me, her and 5 children. I don’t know her relation with any of the children there are just always tons around everywhere. She wants me to put in a DVD of her aunts wedding, so I do and we watch that for a short while until my laptop runs out of battery. After that we go for a walk. First by a church then to a house that turns out to be her house apparently, that’s when I learn the house we were at earlier is her mother’s house. To get to the house we have to walk between houses where the spacing is so small I had to walk sideways and have the children hold my arms so that I did not fall because it was pitch black outside. We see her house then leave back for town again. I am basically just following this group of kids around the whole town stopping into shops to say hello to people. I eventually say that I am very tired and want to go home. But they insist I stay for dinner, which here in Rwanda typically eaten at 9:00. You will not see people eating in restaurants until this hour and at home they do not serve food until this time. The reasoning is possibly because it takes a very long time to cook food over a fire especially beans, rice and meat. Long story short I stay for dinner that night and every night since that I have been available I have been eating dinner with my new Rwandan family.
Side Note: Rwandan’s eat the same exact food every week all over the country no matter in restaurants or people’s homes it’s always the same.
Meal 1: Beans and Rice sometimes with avocado
Meal 2: Plantains and Spagetti
Meal 3: Umugati- bread made form cassava that is very sticky and earthy that you dip into a sauce
If the family has enough money goat, cow or chicken is also eaten with these meals. Another cultural note, they mix everything together and eat with their fingers some of the time and they pile their plates very high with food and its all carbs these people should all be over weight but with all the walking and heavy lifting they do everyday I guess it evens out.