27 February 2009

Market Day!

Today I had the opportunity to go to the Sabbatia Eye Clinic with Sister Catherine, but I declined.  Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed or anxious for no apparent reason.  Usually I take that to mean that I need to relax and be alone for a little while.  Since we did not have any other obligations and Sue gladly would take my spot, I felt it best to stay home.  This morning I was able to take care of chores such as getting water and a little cleaning.  Then I listened to music, read, and listened to the BBC.  I am glad with my decision because I feel much better now.  I know that I would have really enjoyed the clinic, but sometimes a little mental health check is necessary.

While I was listening to the radio, one of the neighbors walked past with her son following slowly.  Meowmar went out to take a look and the boy paused to look at the kitten.  He arrived at our doorway and I brought the cat over for him to have a closer look.  Fear and bewilderment stopped him from moving.  Eyes locked on the large white man and a tiny cat.  I am sure the size disparity alone was shock enough let alone the fact that there was a Mzungu squatting with his cat.  After a minute he went back on his way.  Jumping and crashing along the path.  Back into whatever game had been interrupted by the cat and I. 

I then cooked myself some coffee and had a breakfast feast of yogurt with cereal in it.  This is my standard skiing breakfast and it is the largest breakfast I have had in awhile.  Meals tend to be small due to time and materials.  Breakfast will be a hard boiled egg if prepared the night before or mandazi from the Honey Drop.  Lunch is a margarine sandwich with chai.  Dinner something with potatoes.  Rice rarely and eggs often.  We will take simplicity over size.  A favorite is onion and green pepper omelette on two pieces of toast.  The caloric intake is low.  Snacks are rare.  Sometimes fruit, a cracker, or a 5KSH Ice Pop (frozen juice watered down).  I had to cut a new notch in my belt this week to keep my pants up.  So I take that to be a sign that I have lost a little weight so far.  Along with doing more household chores and walking everywhere I need to go, the lifestyle here is not suited for putting on weight.  It takes a little more effort to put on the pounds.

I went to the market to see if there were any good DSCF0003clothes or food and I came home with a great harvest of shirts.  There are tons of hand-me-downs and the best are shirts that were for various blue collar jobs with name tags.  Today I found some good ones in the market.  After a bit of bargaining, I bought two short sleeve shirts.  I will proudly wear Dick and Mike's shirts, whoever they are, around town.  It is actually good to have some short sleeve collard shirts to wear on the weekends.  This way I can save the nicer ones for work days.  After I got my real prize.  I finally found a man selling a Chelsea jersey.  DSCF0006When he said I could have it for 150 I was sold.  Last week a lady wanted 400 for the same one and I was upset at the price.  She was not willing to come down and I declined thinking that I would never get one.  My fortunes were reversed one week later and I now have my very own jersey.  With all the Man U fans I am sure to get a lot of comments.  DSCF0007Particularly from Neto who continues to razz me about the blues.  I will plan a day to wear it to work just to give Neto a hard time.  I am still amazed that sports are such an easy conversation piece with anyone around here.  Bring up the English Premier League and you can talk for an hour to any male.  Michael went the route of finding shirts that were both ugly and interesting.  His prize, seen below, is of President Barack Obama with his now DSCF0002famous slogan; "Yes We Can!"  He also found a Dubai sailing shirt that is both tacky and stylish.  Market day is now even more fun when you go shirt hunting.  I planned on taking pictures of the work of tire sandal guy but he was not there today.  I have had numerous inquiries about his sandals and I promise to have a post dedicated to his craftsmanship and offerings.  Yesterday, I saw a par of tire slippers.  I plan on trying to get a pair for myself.  A pair of shoes to beat up and cost only a few dollars is right up my alley.

My last story of the day involves a little girl who I see all the time.  She is about 7 years old and I can tell that she had cleft lip surgery.  She always smiles and waves at me when I pass, but never says anything.  Since I see her all the time, I make sure to say hello and shake her hand.  Each time she beams at me and then runs away.  Today I saw her in the market, waved, greeted, shook hand, she smiled and went on my way.  I was looking at some baseball hats when I fell pulling on the hairs of my arm.  I wheeled around and there she was.  Examining my arms as if I was a science experiment.  She gave a good look at the hairs and with a gentle pull made sure that they were real.  I let her do it for a minute because I knew she was curious.  I told her goodbye and went on up through the market.  I was told that people would check me out, feel my skin and hair, but the first time sure was strange.

We also had our usual chicken at the petrol station, got a beer to enjoy tonight, and met William's younger brother.

Happy Friday!