Rwandan students at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will share information about their country with their peers at the first ever Taste of Rwanda event.
According to assistant director of Residence Life Jeanne Keyser, Taste of Rwanda will offer attendees the opportunity to build relationships with fellow students while eating Rwandan food and learning about Rwanda and its history.
The Residence Life Multicultural and Diversity Education Committee is hosting the event Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 5-7:30 p.m. According to Keyser, the MADE committee is working with Rwandan students from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Undergraduate Scholars Program, or CUSP, to plan the event. CUSP provides funding for Rwandan students to work toward a bachelor’s degree in integrated science.
“[Residence Life] always does a lot of things to make sure everybody is appreciated, happy and welcomed,” Schadrack Shumbusho, freshman integrated science major in CUSP, said.
Food specific to the event will be located in the “Home Cooking” section of the dining center. According to Keyser, the menu will consist of roasted chicken with a tomato and garlic sauce, roasted potatoes, fried plantains, key wat (beef stew), Ethiopian lentil stew, basmati rice, ugali in a vegetable stew, injera (Ethiopian flatbread), Ethiopian beef curry and coffee from Rwanda.
Keyser said each food item will be paired with a sign listing its ingredients.
A presentation featuring information about Rwanda will also be displayed on TV’s in the dining center, Keyser said.
“[There will] be amazing PowerPoints showing the beautiful land, beautiful mountains, beautiful lakes, beautiful hotels and rivers in Rwanda,” Shumbusho said.
According to Shumbusho, some CUSP student volunteers will provide live music and others will answer questions in a Q&A session. The program piece will be held in the Lark room, according to Keyser.
Throughout the event, volunteers will welcome students at the check-in stand, direct them to the “Home Cooking” area, answer questions, offer samples and invite students to the Lark room, Keyser said.
“It will be an opportunity to strengthen friendships among students,” Shumbusho said. “It will be a very great atmosphere for people to have fun.”
Keyser said there have been “Taste of…” events in the past, but this is the first one specific to Rwanda.
“This is also the first one to be held in the dining center,” she said. “So, we’re excited that we’ll have a big menu … the dining staff has worked so hard.”
Shumbusho and other CUSP members began helping plan the event in December.
“Our contribution was to help give ideas on how to make the event more colorful,” he said.
Keyser said the event is a great opportunity for students to learn about new things in a fun setting and she is looking forward to the student interactions the event will bring.
“I’m excited for [the CUSP students] to see other people come and enjoy the event because they’ve been planning it for so long,” she said.
Keyser and Shumbusho said they believe events like this are important to the university because they expose students to different experiences and broaden their horizons.
“This is an amazing opportunity for students to have this global mindset,” Shumbusho said.
Shumbusho said he is looking forward to the friendships and connections that the event will bring.
“I believe the University of Nebraska is about making long and lasting relationships,” he said. “All are welcome.”