Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Morning of Grocery Shopping

I wanted to try to capture what it is like to go shopping for food here in Arua. Pictures can never fully explain an experience, so feel free to come and visit any time!

First, there is the food market. This is where we go to get fresh food. To get there you must first park somewhere and walk down Market Rd.

This is Market Rd.
All along Market Rd. there are little shops (called dukas) and small stands. In these shops you can find all kinds of things. I have not yet fully investigated them. The stands tend to sell basic needs such as salt and different soaps. Some sell fun things like sunglasses, locks, candy or cheap watches.

The other option is there are always people walking up and down the road trying to sell the same things. I don’t normally buy things along the road but there are some exceptions. I get eggs from a little shop right near the market.

Two boys selling salt and soap. The blue sticks are long sticks of soap that they break into smaller pieces to use.
Once inside the market there are lots of places to go. For the most part the market is grouped by type of food you are buying.

Lots of sugar, rice and tea leaves
This is where we buy sugar. You can buy it on the street but I am trying to build relationships and so I try and buy from the same people as much as possible. Also, at this stand both the sellers speak Swahili. I practice with them every time I go in. It has helped a lot to have regular interaction in it. Sadly, when I brought the camera the other woman who I practice with the most was not there.

Next I go to see my friend, Mama Lucy. Her and her daughter Lucy have this stand. I don’t buy much from them but we greet each other and talk every time I come to the market. I do not think they know Jesus but I pray that I can be a light to them. We are building our relationship slowly but I am excited to see what God wants to do through it.

Mama Lucy
 From here I go to “Mundu Row” which is how they say “Visitor (white person) Row.” They sell things here that are not common for the Lugbara people to buy. They sell them for people like me, which I am quite grateful for. Here I can find, when it is in season, carrots, peas, green beans, lettuce, green peppers, watermelon, zucchini, cilantro, and cucumbers. All these things are not there all the time, but it is nice to be able to find them when I can.

Mundu (Visitors) Row
We get some onions and potatoes by the basin full and we are halfway done. We go down this row to get oranges or tangerines.

Basins of onions and potatoes
 Next, I get tomatoes from this stand. There are a group of women who work it together. They let me practice Lugbara with them. They always make me count in Lugbara which is good practice then we talk price in Lugbara as well.

One of my favorite stands for cultural purposes was not open this day. It is where we buy ground nuts, similar to peanuts. They also sell a variety of bugs. We can get some for you to try when you come visit :)

Our last stop for the day is beans. There are many ladies in the market who sell beans. It is the major source of protein for people here. These ladies do not normally speak much English and not much Swahili either. I often buy from whoever speaks English well enough. The bags of beans you see, when full, are 100 Kilo bags which is about 220 pounds. I would not like to carry those!

From here we go to the supermarket. My favorite of the five in town is West Nile Supermarket. Each supermarket has the same basics but then they each carry slightly different things. I also go to Arua Supermarket regularly to get things they carry that West Nile does not.

Here is one of the four aisles of the store. I get basics here, peanut butter, milk, pasta, butter, flour, cleaning products, cheese when available, snacky foods, oil, powdered milk, baking supplies, and cooking things. There is a “toy aisle” but the toys are cheap in price and quality. Tim still loves going to look at the toy aisle whenever we go.

Tim loving the "toy aisle"
Cookie options, but not nearly as good as double stuffed oreos
Cooking Supplies, sometimes there is a better selection
Checking out
The pictures give you and idea of what things are available. We have much more available to us than there used to be in Arua. We are so thankful.

So this is grocery shopping in Arua. What questions did this leave for you? What else would you like to know?! Tell me so I can help you understand life this side of the world.

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