Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Eyes on the prize

As we cross the street a sort of organized chaos ensues, we have now entered the Brikama market. We quickly maneuver through the crowded entrance being careful to avoid wheelbarrows, bicycles and the occasional motorbike ignoring the calls of "toobob" (white person). We are on a mission and we know what we came here to buy. We continue on through the crowded, narrow alleyways where I eye the numerous tables selling most of the same vegetables to see what is freshest and to scout out new items from the gardens.  As we walk, careful to avoid running into women carrying bowls, vegetables, rice or some other item on their heads, our noses are filled with the poignant scent of raw fish sitting out on the tables waiting to be sold for lunch or dinner. As I smell the familiar, yet still unpleasant smell of the fish I realize that we are almost to our first destination.  We arrive to a larger stand where we buy a stack of three potatoes, a stack of 3 onions and 7 eggs (just enough to fill up the egg holders in our fridge). We quickly thank the man and then we begin to backtrack the same way that we came. I pick up a small lemon and contemplate the green peppers, but they are not what we are here for so we continue on. Lastly we come upon our final destination, the prize, the final touch to our dinner that I will make tonight and the real reason for coming to the market at all. We have arrived at the chicken section! As soon as the ladies realize what we are there for, they all begin pulling the "hard" (frozen) chicken out of their coolers to show off what they have. We buy two half pieces and then, happy with our purchases we make our way back to the road where we entered. We have been successful once again!
      The longer we live here in Brikama the more things I discover I can buy in the market. Two months ago the market looked big, scary and extremely unorganized, but now it's not so big and as I stated in the beginning of the post it's a sort of organized chaos. Everything has it's place or it's section it's just a matter of figuring out where the section is and how to get there each time we enter the market. I like to buy as many things locally as I can while still making meals that help remind us of home. It may not be wal-mart or the local farmers market, but it's what we have here and I'm learning to appreciate it more and more as people begin to recognize us and welcome us with smiles and greetings.

Blessings from the Gambia!

Prayer requests:
-For health as our stomachs have been off
-Against spiritual attacks which we have been feeling, especially when we want to go out into the villages
-For language study, as we get better at Kiriol we are thinking about beginning some Mandinka study
-For breakthroughs with the Muslims that we are in contact with every day

-We are getting more comfortable in our new home
-Language is continuing to progress
-We continue to learn more about ourselves and what we believe as individuals and as a couple