Good news, I’m back up! I have just had a great, relaxing weekend and am ready to face this week head on. Friday I headed down to Wa taking the Metro Mass. The hardest thing I find about taking the bus is that there is not a posted schedule. I thought the bus was to leave at ten but when I arrived at the station (out of breath because I had to wait for the donuts to finish frying) the bus was not there. After a while talking with some ladies who were standing around it was suggested that I go to another spot and see if I could get a tro-tro since they didn’t know when a bus might come. So off I went, popping into the post office on my way. While I was in the post office I heard the horn of the bus and decided that I might as well head back to the station. When I got there I discovered that all of the women (who were waiting for a ride to a funeral) had been running around town trying to find me to let me know that the bus had come. How nice is that? So I spent the weekend in Wa with Winnie (volunteer from Kenya/IT guru), Ruby (volunteer from the Phillipines/journalist) and Mel(teacher from Melbourne). It was just what I needed, plenty of sitting around doing nothing, pretty much like every other weekend just not by myself:)
While in Wa I headed to the market. I wish there was some way to get a picture of the market from above because no description will do it justice. There are rows upon rows of stalls and tables set up where women come to sell just about anything everyday of the week. Saturday was “Market Day” which means a whole bunch more people came to sell their wares and these people placed their items on tarps or blankets in rows on the ground. I am not joking that you can buy everything. It’s probably about the size of one city block and this weekend I bought veggies, fruit, a paring knife, yeast, peanuts, a couple of food containers, popcorn, and a beautiful bag. If I had wanted to there are shoes, clothes, jewelry, kitchen items, toiletries, fabric, meat, fish, canned goods, lots of beans, basically anything you could buy in a shop you can buy at the market. The one thing I wonder is how many of these people manage to make a living selling, say, tomatoes (5 for 10cents) when there are 40 other women doing the same. It looks tough, really tough.
I have heard some volunteers say that they avoid the market in Wa on Market Day because it is soooooooooooo busy and I will admit that there was no shortage of people. But the thing that stunned me this weekend was how quiet it was. At one point I was walking amongst some stalls and even though there were people everywhere, there was almost silence. This is so nice, after having experienced the hassling in markets in India or Egypt where sellers are calling to you and sometimes even dragging you to their shop. There was not a sound, not from animals or children strapped to their mother’s back, nothing. Ah, peace and quiet.