Our Burundi meal was delicious! “Fish with Tomatoes and Red Palm Oil”, “Red Kidney Beans with Plantains”, “Date and Banana Mix”, and Banana Beer. I hated red kidney beans; haven’t had them in years. It was the texture. I decided it was time to try them again and they were delicious with the plantain and onions. The Date and Banana Mix is like coffee cake with a thick layer of bananas and dates in the middle. So good and of course, I had it for breakfast the next day. Check out our little Burundi flag! I found a banner that has flags for all the countries. We are cutting them apart and working on some sort of little flagpole holder. Rob and I totally dorked out looking at all the flags.
We attempted to make banana beer. As tempting as it was, we decided to not follow the traditional method of smashing bananas and grass with our feet in what looks like a short canoe. Instead, we blended the bananas and squeezed out the juice using cheesecloth. The recipe only called for banana juice and sorghum flour which we thought it was odd that there was no yeast. Supposedly sorghum supplies wild yeast, but our beer did not ferment. We don’t know if it was because we didn’t use the right type of sorghum or because our filtered tap water might have some chlorine in it. We ended up adding yeast and the concoction did ferment but it did not taste good. Ech.
Burundi is our last B country and sixth country in Africa; there are 54. I thought the African meals would be very similar but yet another naiveté. I posted a pic listing our other African meals if you are interested.
There is a Burundian tradition I love called “Ibikorwa Rusangi” which means community work. From https://www.yaga-burundi.com:
“Since 2005, our country has been conducting weekly public events every Saturday before noon. These activities are carried out at all levels in our country, with citizens sharing and working together for various development activities. They cut off roads, built schools, clinics, playgrounds, and more.”
Burundi has a strong oral tradition in which history and life lessons are told through storytelling, poetry, and song. kivivuga amazina is “an improvisational poetry contest played by cattle herders, in which they boast their abilities or accomplishments.”
Lake Tanganyika is the second oldest, second largest by volume and the second deepest freshwater lake in the world (after Lake Baikal in Siberia). It is the world’s longest freshwater lake. Lake Tanganyika spans between Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi, and Zambia. It drains into the Congo River system which drains into the Atlantic Ocean.
Traditional drumming of karyenda is an important part of Burundian cultural heritage, as indicated by the world-famous Royal Drummers of Burundi.
Parc National de la Rusizi is a wetland environment, and provides a habitat for hippos, sitatungas (aquatic antelopes) and a wide variety of birds.