Beecher's Mac Africa and Cheese

On our last day in Rwanda I got the big treat of making lunch for the 50 man crew working to build the St Ignatious school.  When we were working there we really enjoyed the workers. It was classic mime communication as of course we knew no Kinyarwandan and only a few of them knew even a little English. Despite the language barrier we grew to really appreciate them and the hard work they performed for $1.50 per day.

Beecher's Mac and Cheese and Maximus/Minimus braised pork was the menu.  Rwandans really only eat rice and beans so many of the workers had never tasted pasta.  They were very curious as I showed up and packed my supplies into the fire shed where the lunch cooking is done.  Word spread that the Americans were here to cook.  The two ladies who did the cooking were quite helpful in teaching me, again pretty much just with mime, how to cook on an open fire on a dirt floor in a shed with no chimney. 

In the end it was actually a reasonable facsimile of the real Beecher's Mac. There were certainly many times during the process that the outcome was in doubt, but they all loved the finished product and the plates were clean.

At one point the fellow with the best English asked me how much this meal would cost in America.  A mix of appreciation for our western situation and shame arose in me as I realized that it would be over a week of wages simply for him to buy this meal that I had prepared.

Stay tuned for a video of the Mac & Cheese making process!

Also, if you haven't gotten a chance to the other posts, just click on the rwanda tag below to display all of them.
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Lover of big ideas and bold flavors. Food should be like family and friends: honest, fun, and fulfilling.

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