Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Busy Day Part 1: Visit with Noah then the Mercato Experience

"The evenings are hard: there is so much we would like to be doing, but this trip is just flying by and we are hindered by a sick little boy who needs to be kept in. Perhaps tomorrow will be a good, full day. I dream of coming a couple of years? When the kids are grown? We would come back and stay here without a doubt. We (I) would not have so many fears." -journal, night of the 13th

"The nights are hard to take. I am up wondering if Oliver's restlessness is becaues of sickness or schedule change; everything is differend and there are many factors to consider - Illness, Geda's cold, antibiotics, weather, different bed - there are too many things to rule anything out.

Morning is here and the boys still sleep (as could I, but I am tired of the night; more tired of the night than of heavy eyes). The morning is nice: wet pavement but dry chairs. A touch of blue sky brings hope of a good day.

The guest house is full today. Busy American rush about. I would have thought my mind would be craving American conversation, yet I find myself avoiding their glances: making myself appear preoccupied in my journaling. I would rather talk with Abuld or Mimi so when they go we talk as much as the other of us can understand. The guest house is enchanting. The
courtyard is a small rain forest: birds sing, the caged monkey flips and pounces around. The birds are singing songs I have never heard. All of this is in the foreground of our compound. Outside, a rooster crows. He began his morning at 2:00am, giving a false hope of dawn, so his song is not received as a friendly one. The streets are humming with a surprisingly quite noise. Occasional short honks interrupt the low sounds of the motors. Peaceful.

Inside the guesthouse is not my favorite place to be and is such a contrast to the courtyard. Our room is only a little larger than the nursery at home. A bed - though comfortable - is cramped. On either side there is an incline, pushing us towards the small bump who lies between us most nights. The room is dark except at night, when the lights being an artificial tinge of brightness. Next time, we will reserve a larger room." - journal, morning of the 14th

Formula, Diapers, and wine. It is getting close: when we become the full time parents of two infants. We thought it was time to get some things. Okay...the wine is a joke. We aren't "alcohol medicators," But we did think it would be great to try some here. We stopped of at Bambinis. A place we were told we would be able to find anything we needed. We wandered the isles, figuring out what we needed not by the lettering but by the pictures. (although there was quite a bit of imported British or elsewhere English places. It is quite apparent by the cost that disposable diapers are a convenience. And the formula is also more expensive than the states. It is no wonder you hear so often of the need for formula! I can't even imagine what the orphanage's tab is! We get what we need and head out. Pretty normal foreign supermarket.

The orphanage is full today with our fellow Americans. It is a short visit, but a good one. In only a few days he will be in our care. I cannot wait, but at the same time, we want to take in as much of the city as we can. There are only a couple of days left and we are feeling pressed for time!

This is our day to see what we want to see around the city. First stop: Mercato: The Largest
open air market in Sub-saharan Africa (though some say in all of Africa and others have other opinions. The thing is ENORMOUS and once you are there, it is easy to see how hard it would be to measure and compare.) We had heard about he mercato in the states and just had to see it. S. was a little surprised, but pleasantly, when we told him we wanted to go. "Not many I drive want to go" He said. Why? I have no idea. It was top on our list.

Before we got there, we were there. As we drove closer to the beginning of the market, the sea of people and cars increased and jammed together attempting to move, slowly flowing together into tight bottle necked streets or large roads where other rivers of cars joined. It was amazing.

We were going slower than a walker's pace, and yet it all went by so quickly. We only got peaks
into the market...similar to the glimpses we got down the mazes of trails between houses. In my head, I expected to be able to get out and, even when we were driving through, I was a little disappointed and annoyed at Sasalwi's insistence that this was NOT a good place to get out. That we would not be safe. Yes, I trusted him, especially considering Ollie. But next time, if there is no infant, I believe we will enter the mercato.

As we drove, S. explained that it is very organized. Produce vendors together, spices, jewelery, building materials: all the stores are together based on what they sell. Everyone knows where to go to get what they need. OH how I wish we could get out. We drive for blocks and blocks, and then turn corners and drive in the other direction...still bordering the mercato...and then again on the other side. It takes forever, but we have only seen the lining. The shell. Oh the life and vibrancy in those walls of shops! Next time. Next time.

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