Yesterday was what is probably a typical Saturday agenda for many of you, a bunch of errands. However, running errands in The Gambia looks a lot different than my Saturday mornings in the US.
The day started off with our diligent new watchman not wanting to bother me because my door was still closed so instead calling to wake me up to tell me a shed was unlocked. Yes, I was glad he was doing his job well just wish it had not been at 7:15 am. Then, after some quiet time and coffee it was time to get going on the errands. First on the agenda, some new drapes for one of our houses; sounds like a Walmart trip right? No Walmart here so off to the fabric seller to find fabric for drapes and bargain on the price. Then off to the tailor to instruct him how I wanted the drapes made after converting my measurements from inches to meters (thank goodness for google and smart phones). And since I was at the tailor I decided I needed some new clothes so dropped off some fabric I purchased last month for a new skirt and new outfit.
Next up, I wanted some cucumbers. After searching every market stall for over 30 minutes and only finding one seller with some really iffy ones I had to go without. During the cucumber search I did come across several friends who are sellers so there were many greetings and some sitting down and chatting while they sold their produce. In lieu of cucumbers I decided to purchase some “oranges” (see the picture), they really are not limes.
Next up was the walk home in very windy and dusty conditions so bad at times I could not see. The dust and wind greatly increased the risk of getting run over by the horse and donkey carts as well as newly purchased sheep that did not want to go to their next stop, but I made it home safely; whew! Upon arrival I thanked our diligent guards by giving them some “oranges” and then it was off to the “tire shop” to get some air put in my tires.
Of course, the worker was not there because he was shopping in the market. His phone number was written on the wall of his shop in charcoal so I called him and about an hour later we connected and my tires were all filled up after many negotiations and refusals on my part since he wanted to swap me his motorcycle for my car; um not a good deal on my end! Finally got home and an afternoon of cooking ensued prior to fellowship around the campfire with the not so peaceful background sounds of the hyenas. Life in The Gambia is not boring and I hope all of you enjoyed the convenience of your Saturday errands.