She let me help from time to time and complimented me at how good I was at peeling potatoes. :-) While we cooked, we talked (mostly in French, but I learned some new Kirundi words too) and I asked a lot of questions. During a lull time, she invited me in the living room to watch some TV (and no, most Burundians do not have a TV).
Around 8:30, everything was ready and it was delicious -- meat (a special treat), potatoes, peas with a tomato-based sauce, and pâte (a dough cooked with manioc/cassava flour). We ate with our fingers which proved difficult for me when I got to the peas! We didn’t drink anything at dinner. I wondered if this was intentional to avoid night-time trips to the outhouse at the back of her property.
I discovered that when someone has a stranger or visitor spending the night in their home, you must inform the “chief” of the neighborhood (for security reasons). Thérèse sent her niece to tell him and he came to the house later in the evening with two other assistants. In fact, during my short stay, she had lots of people coming and going. She's a busy lady!
In the morning, she made chapatis (like a tortilla) and tea for breakfast. More visitors came -- a brother-in-law with bananas from her land, three ladies whom she hires to farm her fields, the "chief" and his assistants collecting food for the poor in their area. I wish I had more pictures to share, but I wanted to just be there. Before I left, she told me that "it was a miracle" that I stayed at her house and she extended an invitation to come again (but next time with my kids). I'm thankful for this woman and her tremendous generosity and patience with me as I slowly learn more about her culture.