Makongeni Market

OK, so Kenyans as a whole (at least the ones we’ve met) do not really eat raw vegetables like we do.  They eat tons of greens that have have been boiled or fried, very tasty, but far from the fresh salads we’re used to.   Oh Sweet Tomatoes, I was sick of you two months ago and now I would do almost anything for a trip down your buffet line.  Yesterday Anne out did herself and made a great salad with spinach, hard boiled egg, tomato, cucumber, and “bacon” made from fried prosciutto.  It was amazing.  Esther, the wonderful woman who’s helping us figure out how to survive here,  was eating lunch with us.  when she saw the salad was for lunch she flinched a little.  It was really a hilarious culture clash moment.  She went home very hungry..she took a tiny portion and was not able to gag it down.  She could not believe we were eating those greens raw.  The only vegetable she’s ever eaten uncooked is cabbage and carrotts in a  cole slaw type stuff they make here.   
Ian's salad..MMM'MMM!

Ian's salad..MMM'MMM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esther's Salad...before trying to eat it.

Esther's Salad...before trying to eat it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now on to some interesting pictures.  I wish I could bring you all here to experience the vibrance and activity of our market in Macongeni.  Anne and I have been getting lessons from Esther on how to navagate the market and it has been quite an adventure.  This place is huge..probably the size of 10 football fields with huge quantities of all things edible and everything else you can imagine.  It is a labrinth of tiny alley ways and huge open areas jam packed with people and stuff.  Tuesdays and Fridays fresh produce arrives from all over the country by car, truck, mule cart, rickshaw, and on people’s heads.  In Thika there is one main store called Tusky’s that has the most modern products, it is also very  expensive.  We can buy produce and consumables for about 1/3 the price at the Macongeni market…it’s just not something you can walk in and do though without some guidance from a local.  Today we went with Esther again, Anne bought some fabric and we got about 50lbs of produce and food.  I snapped some pictures to hopefully give some idea of what it’s like in there.   The closest thing to it would be Saturday market if it was a permanent market with about 5 times more people there and way dirtier.   It is so crouded and busy you are literally stepping over people and produce to make your way.  So here, have a look, don’t get lost.

Fabric store alley...note the open fire...i never said the market was safe.

Fabric store alley...note the open fire...i never said the market was safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anne getting her shop on, , she scored some nice fabric for curtains and decorating.

Anne getting her shop on, , she scored some nice fabric for curtains and decorating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typical market street.

Typical market street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made the mistake of driving to the fabric shop...had to back all the way out when this lorry came through. We made the mistake of driving to the fabric shop…had to back all the way out when this lorry came through.

 

That's about a foot deep in old corn husks.

That's about a foot deep in old corn husks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

05-26-2009 017 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where's waldo?  10 bob to the  first one who can spot Anne in this chaos.  Where’s waldo? 10 bob to the first one who can spot Anne in this chaos.
This guy gave us a special deal on his hand ground wheat flower so we can learn to make chapai...a very common food...like a thick wheat tortilla eaten with everything.  Second only to Ugali. as a staple food here.

This guy gave us a special deal on his hand ground wheat flower so we can learn to make chapai...a very common food...like a thick wheat tortilla eaten with everything. Second only to Ugali. as a staple food here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping cart = plastic bags strung on a big piece of sugar cane.

Shopping cart = plastic bags strung on a big piece of sugar cane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dropping Esther off at home after our trip to the market.

Dropping Esther off at home after our trip to the market.

Advertisements

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Eve on May 26, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Anne’s on the back left underneath the hut. You can’t miss that big purse. What is 10 bob – like 100 bucks?

    I can just hear Anne making a deal in those pictures. Watch out garage sellers when she returns!

    Reply

  2. Posted by mayfamily on May 26, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    10 bob is like 14 cents. I’ll just skip the next text message and you can owe me 11 cents. The market is like the biggest garage sale ever. It’s like the Catlin rummage sale, Satrday market, and the Beaverton farmers market put together and mutliplied by 2 or 3 (maybe 10). Pack in 1/2 the population of Portland, more flies than you can imagine, and a thick coat of dust. Makes for a remarkably stimulating shopping experience. I have to admit, and those who know me know I’m not easily rattled, the market (and other experiences here) are taking me well out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I feel like an ant in a colony here (or like I think and ant in a colony might feel anyway).

    Reply

  3. Posted by Ron Stull on May 27, 2009 at 6:53 am

    Ian,

    Chipatti’s and peanut butter a must have!
    Actually Chipattis is the closest thing to a fajita around, don;t be afraid to stuff it with some good old goat meat, yum yum.

    Thanks for the update.

    Ron

    Reply

  4. Posted by Grammy on May 27, 2009 at 7:00 am

    I like all your pictures…nice to see Esther. The shopping does sound exciting. I hope you have found a comfort zone where you can relax.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Anna on May 27, 2009 at 7:41 am

    seems like you are starting to find your places…getting more excited for everything. love all the people you are meeting. jealous of all the things you are getting to experience (okay – maybe not ALL the things)

    Reply

  6. Posted by Er on May 27, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Dang it – Eve beat me to the 14 cents.

    Love this comment:

    Makes for a remarkably stimulating shopping experience

    Awesome.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Bonita on May 27, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Ian, I remember the first time you were in Africa (Egypt) riding (stuck in traffic) in a bus when a little boy your age rode by on a camel hauling manure. You looked at each other and I remember saying the only reason you are on this bus and that little boy is on a camel working is that God chose to have you born in America. Little did I know that God would take you back to Africa to bless His precious little ones a generation later! You four truly are going to be God’s gift to many.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: