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Okay, Let’s Talk Food in Kigali

Stunning Mixed Dried Beans

The food here is not only totally organic by necessity, it is healthful, delicious, and beautiful~  The first time I saw these beans in a huge pile in the common market I literally stopped and stared at them.  There were thousands of them in a pile higher than me.  I stood there while all the locals stared at me wondering what I was looking at!  But the artist in me took over and I stood there amazed and just said, “These beans are so beautiful!”  Even this picture doesn’t do them justice.  There are so many colors in the pile.  Bright yellow and loud pink, deep purple, and all shades of navy blue, even striped ones and red ones!  Together they are magnificent!!  Now I realize that I sound like a ninth-grade art teacher but truly these beans have been one of the most amazing things that I have seen here!  Not only are they freakishly beautiful but I believe they are the very reason we are all rapidly losing weight.  And I mean over 30 pounds for me, about 50 for Zeb, at least 25 for Doug, and the little kids maybe 15 each.  You see the beans cooked and served beside a side of whole rice become a complete protein.  A protein is very easily broken down by our bodies.  After you eat these unbelievably amazing beans you stay full all day.  Yes, all day.  It’s weird, and you don’t crave any junk food.  So yeah if I could ship these guys back to the States I would beat out the Biggest Looser Diet any day! Another surprising attribute is that you actually want to keep eating them.  I find that when I wake up in the morning I am still not hungry but by say noon I am looking for my beans and rice!

I keep posting on my Facebook wall every time I notice more weight loss.  It’s kind of funny when you don’t have a scale.  I have been using a size 12 pair of pants that have been too small for me since I delivered Sophie 16 years ago this May, to see how my size is changing.  Okay, the pants are really cool.  I’ll take a picture of me in them just for fun and post that next.  As I have been teasing and posting about this rapid weight loss, people inbox me or email me asking what I am eating and how my diet has changed.  So let me sum it up by saying: Take a look at the picture to the right.  That’s our food for a week!  Plus the sack of beans, the sack of rice, a loaf of bread this local lady bakes with Sorghum flour, and a whole lot of Fanta.  Oh yeah, and amazing tiny bananas that taste like they have citrus in them!  It is literally going to the market, picking the food they picked that morning from the garden, and making it all basically in a tomato sauce of some kind with always a ton of garlic, onions, and carrots.  Then whatever the veggie of the day is.  Lots of time eggplant, or weird stuff I have no clue what to call it, or cauliflower or green beans.  We eat some cut of beef maybe three times a week if that.  It’s basically the same food again and again but when you eat eggs in some form for breakfast/ lunch and then that dinner you are pretty much satisfied.  The food tastes so darn good you can’t complain.

To save money and to go native we most often cook the food on this small sort of grill stoves.  They hold the charcoal in the top and they light the charcoal with a small piece of the bag the charcoal comes in…convenient and thrifty.    Then they cook with these huge bowl-like pots that are aluminum.  It is amazing to watch.  They fling these pots around like a professional chef does a saute pan. Often I watch MyDear (who is among many other things our cook) use these “grills” and the pots that go with them like a dutch oven.  When she cooks rice she boils the water, then covers the rice with a flat plate-like aluminum lid.  Then she takes a few red hot coals out of the fire and lays them on the top of the lid.  This causes a sort of oven effect and makes great rice!  Fluffy and perfect!  I’ll try to get a video of her cooking something.  It’s fun to watch.  I can’t tell if it’s because she is so skilled or because we are so bored!!! But even Sophie tells me that she loves to sit out back and watch Mydear cook.  When we first got here I brought a bag of marshmallows along and it was fun to sit out back after dinner and roast them.  MyDear and Claire got a big kick out of that.   The marshmallows lasted two days!

We have received a number of care packages filled with treats from the U.S.  My Sister-in-Love Christy sent us some long-anticipated Doritos a few weeks back.  They have a few kinds of chips here but nothing like a good old Tostito or Dorito.  And what they do have is very expensive.  We are talking $7.50 per bag of Doritos when and if they come in.  So far they were in the German Butchery that we go to twice.  So she sent some and when they came I opened that bag before we put the other stuff away.  But the surprising thing was that after I ate like maybe 6 chips my mouth was burning so much that I wanted to stop.  And it burned for like half an hour.  Zeb had the same sensation.  It was like the salt in it burned our mouths.  It was weird.  Someone also sent pickles and those did the same thing, but with the pickles the next day before noon I had drunk 5 glasses of water and had chapped lips!!  I was amazed by that.  It makes you wonder what is in our food that causes so much weight gain and so much fatigue.  And I noticed that I couldn’t remember ever feeling this satisfied by any food as I do here.  It’s like okay time for a movie, you want any popcorn or peanuts?  Naw…  Every time.  Just really different.  So for all my friends who love to talk food, there’s the scoop.  And if ya pay me enough I will try to smuggle you some of those magic skinny beans when we come home in late May!


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Joie Pirkey
Joie Pirkey
13 years ago

It’s the mangos!!!! We have them like maybe three or four times a week. Check out this article. Crazy!

Great article on the new Mango diet! LOL who knew??/

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