To Market! To Market!

rice and beans for sale

Each Wednesday, Mama Esther does the grocery shopping for the orphanage.  This week we took Fauziya with us so that we could go to the dentist first and she could get a filling.  I think that she had three cavities that were paining her, and this was the final one to be filled.  She did so good – she didn’t even cry!

Esther is getting her driver’s license and she drove the van from inside the compound gates to where the red dirt road ends and the blacktop begins.  Moses ran alongside offering tips and guidance.  She did great.  I would not want to learn to drive with a huge van on a narrow, uneven road full of crazy twists and turns.  Good job, Esther!

Our next stop was Shoprite.  The kids love driving by Shoprite and whenever they see it, they begin chanting the supermarket’s name, so obviously I was excited to go and experience the magic of Shoprite for myself.  It was a pretty typical grocery store – smaller than grocery stores back in the States, but otherwise was fairly similar.

Next up: the true gem – a real African market.  We bought all of our produce here.  We parked on the side of the road and crossed the street.  We stepped down some uneven steps and across a wooden plank, and we were there: The Market.

It was a beautiful, overwhelming, bustling, awesome place.  There are vendors everywhere, and narrow winding walkways going in all directions.  Men and women sit leisurely with their wares, excited to make a sale.  I heard that poor Mama Esther has to negotiate the prices more than usual because the price automatically goes up when there are Mzungus along.  There are mismatched faded umbrellas shading the people and the food from the intense equator sun.  The sea of umbrellas continues on as far as you can see.  The fruits and vegetables were stacked at each stand like little works of art.  Pineapple, passion fruit, watermelon, oranges (that are actually green), papaya, avocado, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, and rice are just a sampling of the fresh produce available.  A guy collects our bags for us and helps us bring them to the van at the end of our market adventure.  It was a fun experience – I can’t wait to go back in a few weeks!

My favorite photo of the market in Kampala


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