Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Sakoine - The Market

Things are getting really busy here in Arusha.  We are looking forward to the visit on Mike Criswell and Clint De France who arrive later this week.  Next week we are planning a Leadership Study and have invited numerous brethren from all over Tanzania and even some from Nairobi, Kenya.

The sisters have been busy working out how they are going to feed these men and have done a really good job.  This being the first time we have done anything like this there are a lot of things that have to be bought.  Today I went with Allen and his wife Hossiana to the market to buy the non perishable items.  Things like buckets, plastic plates and cups, charcoal cooking stoves and the such like.

Hossiana did a great job taking us around the central market.  It was fascinating looking at all the items on sale.  From all the spices of Zanzibar to cheap plastic from China.  You see in the photo the two cooking stoves we bought (one on top of the other) and the cooking spoons (I suggested after we have finished cooking we could use them as paddles!)

In the market you don't just take the price they give you.  It is an inflated price that they would be happy to take, but don't really expect.  When there is a Mazungu (white fella) the price is even higher.  I had to use all the skills I learnt on my mother's knee (she was an expert bargainer from her time in Zambia) to get the prices down.  It was a fun experience and you always know when you have gone down too far when they let you walk away and don't case you.  If there is further room for bargaining they will come after you and give you a counter offer.  It is all done in good spirits and every one ends up happy.  I tell Anne, if they don't want to sell it to you at such and such a price, they wont.

We finished our purchases and had a number of men offering to assist us to carry the items to the car.  I selected a man who I later found out was called Simba (Lion in Swahili).  He kind of pushed the others away who said they would help him (and share his tip!) and hoisted the cookers on his head.  I followed him out of the maze that is the markets and along the streets to where we had left the car.  There is not a lot of parking around the markets.

You really know that we live in a global village when you you see fashions gaining popularity where ever you go.  One of the most unfortunate fashions at the moment is for young men to wear pants that are too big in the waist.  Simba is a follower of that fashion and I am sorry to say that he has taken it too far.  As I was following him he was averaging 10 steps before he had to take a hand off the cookers and pull up his pants before they fell down to his ankles and tripped him.

We got everything safely to the car and from there to the church building.  Next week we will get the perishable stuff - another adventure awaiting me!

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