Friday, 26 June 2009

Fine dining

June 19th

Another very slack day today. I really must get my act together better for next week. I work at home for most of the morning and go up to the Office just before lunch. Unfortunately nobody that I need to see is there; nor is the modem there; nor have any of the schools returned their outstanding census forms. So I’m a bit stuck.

Védaste is there and in his office I see an abstract of statistics for the district which he has compiled. There are some interesting figures on the population of Muhanga, so I borrow the booklet to cope some of his work. 47% of the entire population of the district is under 14 years old, and only 7% is over 55. You just compare that to West Dorset! For Nyamabuye secteur, which includes most of Gitarama built up area, there are around 13000 under-14s but only 1800 over 54s!

The only exciting thing to happen in the morning is that there is some post for me. Two anniversary cards, no less, from Teresa. I discover from an enclosure she sends that our local paper back in England is following my blog and printing chunks from it, so I need to bear that in mind in what I publish….

I have lunch with Becky at Tranquillité and return home via the market. I give Hayley her post and she says Amy is coming up for the weekend from Kigeme. Tom’s probably not going to be back until very late; he’s shuttling round Nyamata today looking at houses. So I invite the girls for dinner and decide to go to town and experiment with a feast. There’s an over ripe avocado in the house so we have guacamole for starters. I’m very taken with the salad I had for lunch in Kigali the other day, and decide to recreate it with my own twist. Potato salad with a dusting of ginger (you try it – it works!); a repeat of the sort of coleslaw I made yesterday with potato, marrow and onion, and a main course like a summer salad with grated carrot, onion rings, cheese strips, hard boiled egg, French beans, pasta, green pepper and loads of tomato. It all tastes gorgeous and looks wonderful on the plate. I take some down to the guard; I’m not sure he knows what’s hit him. Rwandan food is usually boiled or stewed to extinction, and the idea of a main course which has hardly anything cooked in it will probably seem like a cop out to our guard. Never mind; as we say in Dorset, “I’ll learn him…”

Just as we’re getting started Tom arrives earlier than expected; he’s had a lift back from Kigali. Fortunately there’s enough food for him to join in as well. We spend the rest of the evening chatting and getting through more and more bottles of beer until we call it a night.

So that’s my Friday in Gitarama. Best thing – once again, the evening meal. I’m treating it as a dry run for if I need to do some more formal entertaining in the future.

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