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Poulet Froid

view from Beaux Arts.jpg

view from Butare hotel balcony

I’m feeling exhilarated after spending two days with the students at the National University. And the Butare visit was fruitful in more ways than one. A teacher gave me some really beautiful music by a Rwandese musician called: Inyarwanda. It sad and beautiful – reminds me of an acoustic African Low – for those familiar with the band Low.

The day was long, but rewarding. By the time we had a chance to check our email at an internet café where the bandwidth was so small that it took a half an hour to load a three line email in my old yahoo account (my gmail wouldn’t even open) there were limited dining options.

We headed to Hotel Ibis, the only place where two people could get a hot meal at that hour of the night. But even Ibis was preparing to close. The grumbling in our stomachs overpowered politeness and we insisted we would eat anything: eggs for tomorrow’s petit dejeuner, bread, cold frites, anything. Our waiter went into the kitchen to see what could be done. Apparently the spaghetti and meatballs hadn’t been particularly popular with diners that night because he came back and offered us poulet (meatballs). Not spaghetti. Not sauce. Just the balls themselves. We ordered twenty warm meatballs to share.

When they arrived we devoured them. They were made with beef and fresh herbs and garlic and tasted so good. So good, in fact that we ordered another round. Because it was so late the waiter warned they would be brought out froid. And that my friends, was our mistake in judgment. Cold meatballs are a dangerous thing. We continued to be reminded of this mistake for several days.

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