After a much needed day of rest on Thursday, I went shopping ALL DAY with a friend and mentor on Friday. She showed me where to buy meat, produce, groceries and everything else I would need for my apartment. I so wish I had pictures of this experience!
We started immediately after breakfast and our first stop was the butcher. We ordered enough pork, beef, chicken and cheese to last us a month. I was impressed that many of the workers were cleaning the cold cases. However, I was taken back by the two suited men who seemed to lord over the shop. One stood and one sat; both looked like they were from the Mafia. Despite their appearance, they were very nice and helpful. The butcher took our order, would freeze it, and have it ready for us to pick up the next morning. I learned that streaky bacon is what we call bacon, while back bacon is Canadian bacon; which Cheddar cheeses I like and which ones to avoid; and to order everything is kilos, not pounds.
Then, it was off to the Westgate Mall where the Walmart of Nairobi, aka Nakumatt, is located. The mall was beautiful, perhaps nicer than the Lehigh Valley Mall. (If you want to check out their website, google Westgate Mall to get an idea of how nice it is.) I wish we could have walked leisurely through the mall, but we only visited the necessary stores. It was all business, for we had a 3-page list of supplies to buy. We easily filled 4 carts before the day was done. Items like Heinz ketchup (score!), deoderant (which only comes in rollers here), and mosquito nets overflowed the carts. Then it was finally time to check out. The plan was for me to call the credit card company while my friend unloaded the buggy. The person from CitiCards assured me that the transaction would not be a problem, which is what I expected since Aaron called them before we left to inform them of our move. Since we were running out of time, I was running all over trying to find a cell phone with a sim card. No luck on that front, so I helped finish up the unloading of the last cart. Somehow, in all the commotion, a half-empty cart got pushed aside. We didn’t realize this until Saturday when we were unloading everything into our apartment. Too bad Nakumatt is 3 1/2 hours away! Ugh! Anyway, once all the items were scanned (just like in the States), the cashier swiped my card, handed me a receipt and told me to go to customer service (this is the procedure for credit card transactions here). After waiting for several minutes, the card was declined. I called two more times before the person from CitiCards was helpful and the transaction was complete. Ugh!!
(On a side note, the shopping carts here are super hard to push. All four wheels swivel 360 degrees. Once they are filled to the rim, I had to use all of my weight to make turns!)
Although the Nakumatt shopping experience was a bit stressful, we did enjoy a lovely lunch at a cafe and found cute little lamps for the bedrooms at a Bed, Bath & Beyond-type place. My friend’s driver helped us load everything into her SUV and then we headed back to the Mennonite Guest House just in time for dinner. It was a long, overwhelming, exhausting day of cultural experiences. In a few weeks, I’ll have to manage it all by myself!
Saturday morning included picking up our ordered meat, purchasing produce from Zucchini’s and getting some last minute groceries at a little grocery store. Because of the forgotten items at Nakamutt, we had to live without some things for the weekend. My friend took me into Bomet, the little town closest to the hospital, to get as many of the items that are available locally. But that’s a whole other story…
Please continue to pray for us:
1.) Pray that we all fall into a routine that works for accomplishing homeschooling, cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc.
2.) Pray that we hire the ‘right’ person to be our house help. This whole process is quite uncomfortable, so please pray that I am gracious but not weak.
3.) Pray for Aaron as he starts working on Monday…and for us as we try to manage without him.
4.) Pray for safety when the boys are outside and from bug bites. Hannah and I are covered with bites!
5.) Pray for wisdom as we try to fit into this community and to know God’s place for us within and outside of the compound. (Compound living is different. Many advantages, but several things we’ll need to get used to…Like less privacy!)
6.) Praise God for His generous hand, His perfect timing and His daily provision. We are adjusting so well, and our apartment is becoming our home so quickly. Everyone is more than happy to help and very welcoming. For each thing that is a challenge, there is at least one thing that is a bigger blessing. Praise God!