Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wednesday at the Green Corner

It is a tradition that the visiting lecturers take the residents out to dinner after one of the last academic days. I originally thought about Heaven Restaurant but that would be very expensive, so I considered the Karibou which is within walking distance of the hospital. The residents recommended the Green Corner, a local bar in Nyamirambo, which turned out to be a great idea. We piled into a couple of vehicles and were driven up the hill out of town for about 25 minutes. The place looked very basic - concrete floors, brick walls and old plastic outdoor furniture. At 4:30 there was no problem pulling a couple of tables together, and we ordered the first round of drinks.
One resident ordered a coke and tonic - a bottle of each, mixed together. The next ordered a guiness and coke, same deal. The third ordered Tusker, the Kenyan beer which Rwandans always drink two bottles at a time. Greg and I stuck to large Mutzigs.
Once we were all assembled we ordered food. There was no menu. The "chef" came out of the kitchen in a reassuringly clean white apron and there was a brief discussion about what was available. It was decided that three tilapia (a meaty lake fish) and three chickens, all barbecued and served with chips, would serve the ten of us. It took a long time to arrive, so we drank more beer on an empty stomach as the sun slowly set over Kigali. When the food came, iot arrivefd without cutlery. A waiter came with soap, a kettle of warm water and a washing up bowl. We washed our hands and dug in. Lime was squeezed on the fish and we broke it apart and ate it with our bare hands. It was delicious. The chips and chicken were good too. It did not take long to reduce all the dish and chicken to a pile of bones!

Candles were lit and vinegar was spilled on the table to keep bugs away, not that I noticed any. Greg decided he should eat the hot pepper and follow this with a drinking challenge. He, representing Canada won against a resident origianlly from Congo, and I representing the UK lost to Rwanda. Slowly people drifted away home. By 10:30 I had had my fill, and one of the residents came home with me on a minibus to make sure I got back safely.
It is a while since I've spent six and a half hours drinking. I woke up at 3 am, drank a couple of glasses of water, took a tylenol #3 just in case then slept until 5:45, waking up feeling OK.
The car arrived at 6:30 am to take us to Butare for a couple of days.

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