An early start to the day as we’re off to the market to see how the locals shop! According to our fundi (tradesmen) friends at the hospital, traders come from far and wide for the local market, even from Uganda over the other side of Mt Elgon.
The market is really something, there are piles of clothes and shoes, all second hand, along the side of the road and into the market area. Some traders are cleaning the shoes in buckets but how they or their customers find a pair that match is beyond me as there are literally loads of them!
The stalls are on plastic sheets on the red earth, some stalls are a little neater and have displayed their wares a couple I spot even have used a metal frame to hang some items. There are plenty of football shirts on offer (!), beautiful Kenyan designed materials and also traditional outfits creating quite a colourful market!
We move into the food area, the stalls have thick hessian sacks storing rice, lentils, nuts and more. They scoop out the portions using tin cups and sell them in small plastic bags. Onions, mangoes and tomatoes are all piled up and there is a general feeling of hustle and bustle but not too hectic, it feels safe.
The market is for the locals, and so there are few products of interest to us (although a few purchases were made!) but it is really interesting to see the way the locals shop – such a traditional approach and really hits home how lucky we are in the UK with the amount of produce we have available.
After a quick rest and a local made beef samosa (yum!) we visit the IcFEM gift shop which has a mix of gifts all locally made and as the proceeds go to the mission, we parted with our Kenyan shillings rather eagerly!
I’ve heard there is a local coffee factory and so I’m on a quest to find some Kenyan coffee, but have been told that the local coffee beans are shipped elsewhere for roasting and processing and so the local beverage is chai tea.
Back at the hospital we are keen to get to work and to finish the last of the cupboards…today they WILL be finished!
A brief plantain, kidney bean and greens lunch and we met with David the carpenter who, in his spare time, hand makes the most beautiful cards and pictures using banana leaf, local material and wood.
Whilst grouting in the eye surgery, Kiprop (the eye surgeon) finds us and introduces himself…a delightful man who is clearly very excited about the prospect of a nice shiny new surgery to operate in! This makes it even more clear how important the work we’re doing here is!
Back at the compound in the evening, we decide to have a little girls v boys trivial pursuit match (by torch light as the electricity has gone off again!) Debra unveiled herself as a ‘Trivial Pursuit Ninja’ to get the girls a victorious score of 2-0!
Love to all.
Nicky (and the team!) xx