Yesterday started off as a nice, relaxing day. I slept in till about 9, then grabbed some breakfast and had some alone time with Jesus. The majority of the morning was then spent up on Deck 8 writing a letter back to my friend Keri : ) Then, things started to speed up:
Aimee woke up and found me on Deck 8, asking if I wanted to make pancakes and eggs with her. So, we grabbed all of our cooking supplies and headed to the crew galley to make a wonderful brunch for the two of us. Of course, our group of two turned into a group of about 6…which led to me joining two of the girls on a walk into town after we finished our tasty brunch.
The walk that we took ended up leading us to a local market that I doubt many Mercy Shippers have been to. I would say that the majority of locals actually shop at this market…so us “yovos” were extremely out of place. In fact, at one point, a man was holding a loud speaker and as we were walking by him we heard, “jfiia;svnaosinf….YOVOS…as;lfjoinf.” But the nice thing was that they gave us REAL prices and didn’t try to rip us off. I was able to buy one necklace for 30 cents when normally I would be charged 3 dollars!
My two friends and I walked around the market in awe. Who would have ever known that this HUGE market was behind the small wall that we walked past? We were joking that it was like entering Narnia. Although there were flies everywhere, along with dead fish & some other interesting items…we really enjoyed ourselves. We even gave some stickers out to some of the little children. You should have seen their faces, not only did their faces light up, but their mother’s faces always lit up too. And on the way back, we bought some coconut rice balls from a lady close to our port. Even though Mercy Shippers pass by her all the time, I don’t think anyone has ever bought her food from her. Because when we walked over and bought some, she seemed extremely surprised. And when we walked away while trying them, all the women were watching us to see our reactions. I turned around and exclaimed, “Bien!” and they all laughed and replied, “Bien! Bien!”
Shortly after we arrived back on the ship, I was pulled back out again to have a “true African meal” with my workmate Geoffrey and two of our day volunteers. They took us to a local restaurant & we ate a staple food called “foo foo” and some spicy, beef-like broth. They brought us a bowl to wash our hands in, then we ate with our hands and enjoyed the company of our day volunteers outside of working hours. That was really fun. And at the end, one of our day volunteers blessed us with gifts…it’s part of their culture & yet I always feel strange accepting gifts from them.