Tis the season of chocolate avocado mousse in Kigali. It's raining 'cados from my tree, often very loudly onto a tin roof in the middle of the night. Here's the recipe:
- 3-4 ripe avocados
- 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, or a large dollop of honey
- 1 tbs of cocoa powder per avocado
- 1 lady finger banana, or half a big banana
Blend until fluffy and pop in the fridge for 30 mins.
I've heard it said that avocados are worth a lot of money in the west at the moment. Shame I can't convert my wealth.
Work-wise it's been an absolutely mental start to the New Year. I've just been commissioned to ghostwrite someone's memoirs. My first time ghostwriting an entire book. I've also done editing work for one large development agency, got another NGO on the books and an invitation to tender for a third international client, plus work with two local publishers. For the first time in a long time, I'm finding it difficult to juggle everything and may need to turn down work or subcontract it. I honestly didn't realise you could make a proper living from freelance editing. It does help living in a second-language English country. And it does take up a lot of time, meaning less for my own writing, but I'll ride the wave.
Another thing that's gone a bit haywire is cats. I'm feeling overwhelmed. Sen came back from the vet doing just fine. Like computers, there's a problem, you show it to someone and it works perfectly. She's now back home after a few days of being spoilt by Dr. Arum.
Before my kittens came home with me after being abandoned outside a Kinyarwanda lesson, I used to have a feral black cat. She ran off hissing the moment she saw the kittens, but she's now returned with kittens of her own - one black, one tabby. They looked really hungry and it was too hard to feed mine and not give them anything, so now they've moved into the garden. They're still very wild though, and I'd like to keep it that way - I really don't want more cats.
Then, a few nights ago, I was having a beer with one of my Airbnbers when we heard really distressed mewing. We found this tiny little boy, just separated from his mum at about six weeks old. Possibly thrown over the wall. I took him in and cleaned him up. He cried solidly for two nights - got no sleep at all because I no longer have a spare room to put him in, he stayed in my tiny apartment and pooed over everything.
On the third night he saw the other kittens and ran off after them down a drainpipe that connects the back of the houses. The other kittens just abandoned him down there as a massive thunder storm struck. He sat in the drainpipe crying in the rain for a couple of hours, then finally came back out and hid behind my house. I went and collected him - he looked so very lost.
Anyway, he stopped crying since then and focuses more on eating, pooing and playing. He's incredibly affectionate. I don't want more cats, and I did try to give him away on an expat forum, but there were no takers. Thankfully he's weaned, but there's a little work still to do on potty training. I haven't named him yet, but this one's a keeper. Found almost a year to the day since we lost my other boy kitten.
|New, Improved, Fluffy Kitten|
The others have all just had their rabies and triple vac boosters this week. They used to be so good about vaccinations, but Howl's now decided he's a bit of a wuss and takes a huge amount of coaxing with food to come close enough for the needle. It is quite amusing to see their reactions to the kittens, both mine and the wild ones. My cats are about four times the size of these little bundles, but they jump like they've just seen concentrated evil.
|Return of the Black Cat|
|And Her Kittens|
Had an absolutely lovely catch-up with Jo and Nicole over all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet at Kiseki. Stuff yourself silly for a fiver. One of my new favourite restaurants.
Friends Maia and Harris also just got back from holidays so we met up last night and I drank way too much. Suffered the worst hangover in a long time today, whilst showing some lovely people around our piano workshop.
Met up with Shania, my former cleaner who's just gone back to study in Butare. She brought be a huge bunch of bananas and drew me a lovely picture to say thanks for the support. I've been making a lot of banana smoothies and banana bread along with the chocolate mousse. Glad to have housemates to share it with.
Also had a very impressive fruit salad with muesli breakfast before a business meeting the other day. Bourbon has improved a bit.
So, things are going well. The council finally, and very definitively, shut down our noisy neighbours. The charity who were running a late-night bar and music venue from a residential house. It's been blissful since then. I was starting to think I was going mad and that the noise had always been there, but now I remember it always used to be a wonderfully quiet neighbourhood. It really was them. One of the guys involved is the son of a very famous Rwandan singer and, from social media, it looks like he's trying to pull strings with the Justice Department and Mayor of Kigali to reopen the venue. I hope they stick to their guns - and the law - and continue to uphold the peace.