“C’est une tete?” I asked my friends… because I think I see teeth despite the darkness of the night and the dim lights of Bwiza, the Congolese/Senegalese area of Bujumbura. “Oui, C’est une tete du Mouton. Muchopo.” They reply nonchalantly. “Ca va?”
“Of course I am fine with that!” Guess that would be the polite Canadian in me replying as I try to keep my fingers filled with the Casava bread on the side -dense dough like pieces which have been sliced to accompany the muchopo. If I keep picking at the unusual bone in my hand -no one will notice I am not able to get over my embarrassing inability to get over the part that says that the part I am eating is the head part of a sheep.
Tresor looks at me and I can not stop laughing because his eyes search mine deeply -so obviously looking to see if there is any truth in my words. Why am I laughing uncontrollably? Only my cousin Nathalie could answer that! LOL I suppose I am uncomfortable with my inability to embrace my Trinidadian and Chinese cultures – both cultures indulge in specialties of animal parts that are usually discarded or turned into hotdogs or pet food in Canada.
My dear, sweet friends laugh and tell me that I am experiencing Africa through one of its local dishes. Bwiza does not sleep – muchopo restaurants line both sides of the street and tables are filled with locals all diving into heaping plates of muchopo and oversized (to me) bottles of beer.
Clemence and Jean Paul see me deciding on what part to approach and pass me the more “meatier” bits. Crunchy and quite tasty but I am still unable to stop laughing at my ridiculous inability to eat something because I asked what it was! I persevere as I am in training for my street food adventures with my street foodie friends, Sang Kim and Sora Olah. OK – that meatier piece was not meatier-like at all… “keep chewing -it is so NOT the tongue.” I tell myself -hoping to drown out all of the, “OMGs -it IS the tongue!” in my head!!