From Geckos to Diet Pepsi

Hello Everyone!

I hope all of my US friends had a happy Labor Day Holiday! I forgot it was Labor Day, so I did what I usually do when it’s around 1:00PM on a weekday here- I try to figure out which of my people at home might be up at 6:00AM your time.  The Big Winners (?) yesterday were my dear friends Dr. Joe and Sally Gieck. (Yes- the wonderful couple who were among my very first friends when I moved to Charlottesville and to whom I would refer to as “The Giecks from church,” which initially required some quick explaining.) Joe was kind enough not to point out that perhaps they had not been awake. It wasn’t until the evening, in fact, when my mom told me it was Labor Day. Which is probably just as well. Had I known more people weren’t working, I would have used  thousands of shillings calling everyone I know. Not that I’m desperate for contact from home or anything.

Being a regular Monday here, I went shopping in the morning all by myself and bought quite a few things and only got lost once. Luckily, there is a round-about with a sculpture sort of thing and if I can find that, then I can find my way home.

round about sculpture

Then, at 3:00PM I was to meet some of my new friends from the Canon Andreas Mwaka School (CAMS), one of the Anglican Schools that is also part of the Diocese here.  To backtrack a bit, W-J, the Principal of the school, and Margi, his beautiful and talented wife, had invited me to join them and some of the other CAMS staff at a fancy pool/conference center/hotel about fifteen minutes out of town on Sunday afternoon, and I gladly accepted. (As it turns out, I could have brought my new swimsuit- all the other ladies were wearing similar styles. Sure, they’re 4or 5 or 20 years younger than I but…) So it was at the pool when I was invited to participate in the weekly market trip.

I was to meet everyone at CAMS  on Monday at 3:00.  It’s three blocks from my house.Three blocks is a mighty long way if you go the three blocks in the wrong direction and then continue to go three more blocks and three more blocks and so on.  I finally walked on to a fairly fancy property that certainly looked like it could be an Anglican School. It wasn’t but the very nice Polisi (yep- Police Officer) who stopped me was kind enough, after some awkward explanations, to walk me the whole way to CAMS- which was around nine blocks at this point. 

My friends took me first to two grocery-type stores in town that I had missed and I bought some glamorous items like t.p. and sugar. The Big News: I got butter! And Diet Pepsi! (I don’t think I’ve covered the “margarine” or soda situation on this blog- you know my memory- and now, if I didn’t, I don’t have to.) Now, I’m not “chemically dependent” on butter or Diet cola, but you really really don’t know what you’ve got …

The we went to the soto- the big market just outside of town.  It was amazing, outstanding, overwhelming. I couldn’t wait to leave. I can’t wait to go again.  Imagine a very large area- acres- of stalls and small storefronts selling pretty much anything you would need for food preparation ever. Honestly, hundreds of vendors of fruits, vegetables, oils, spices, meats, and lots of things I’ve never seen before.soto tz These are kabobs or “sticks” of course, with chapati, which is delicious.  There are hundreds of similar stalls, the walkways between them very narrow, it’s all pretty dark, and lots and lots of people and noise! And for the 50th time, I will point out, lots of Swahili! Luckily Allison, the kind teacher from the UK who has been here two years, was my guide. I bought two avocados the size of, oh I don’t know- avocados twice the size of what we’re used to. I regret that I glanced into a few small spots that were butchers.  At least fish is familiar.

soto samaki

Apparently, I know nothing about what other meat looks like before it gets to the “grocery store.”  I may be a vegetarian again before I leave here, especially if anyone else asks me if I am going to kill and eat Kuku Nzuri. She’s fine, thanks for asking.

I know in the title I promised a gecko story. However, although there is a convoluted connection between food and the gecko story, I think it best to wait. I also have to share about my lovely dinner with Sandy and Martin McCann Friday night, what happened on Saturday, the return of Mr. Donut, and the arrival of my very first package here! 

I think it will be fun to have a sentence of the day-or blog, more accurately.  Here’s today’s :”Hapana siwezi kusema Kiswahili.”  Blog-brownie points to the first person to get it right! Maybe I’ll keep track and send a nice African gift to the overall winner. Goodness knows, I’ve bought a few lovely, really cool and awesome,  things already- but that’s another story.

Peace! Judy

This entry was posted in Humor, Travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to From Geckos to Diet Pepsi

  1. erik greenbaum says:

    Hapana siwezi kusema Kiswahili – I can not speak Swahili. Boy, that’s the truth….love your posts. Thanks!
    Erik Greenbaum

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mimi crosby says:

    Oh my, I did not even have a chance to reply! Pooh!
    Loved talking to you!


  3. Elizabeth Reeves says:

    Good to hear you found your Diet Pepsi! And I’m enjoying hearing about the adventures. Now, post an address so we can mail something to you! Love Eliz, Bob and the girl


  4. Margarita says:

    Wow! What a full day. You must have slept pretty soundly after all that activity! xoM


  5. Kitty Bolinger says:

    Loving your blogs . Address please for care packages. Maybe some chicken food.


  6. Ducie Minich says:

    Love the posts; a chuckle a minute at least. Keep up the good work. Stay well.


  7. Gaby Alesi says:

    Great read! Update on mr. Donut please 🙂


  8. Maura Devlin says:

    Love your posts, Judy! So proud of you!


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