Sunday, September 28, 2008

Name that Fruit

Last week I mentioned that I went to a farmer’s market and was able to stock up on fresh fruit and veggies at very low prices. Locally grown avocados were about 10 cents each, probably the best deal to be had. I also bought a bag of these fruits, but I’m not sure what they are. The seller showed me that the skin gets peeled off to reveal a sweet flesh, with a texture sort of like a pear, but a less grainy. At first I thought there was a pit in the middle, but it turns out that it’s actually a cluster of about five seed pods. Anyone know what this is? It’s very tasty.

I went to the Masai market on Saturday to see what it was all about. In the parking lot of the court house, hundreds of vendors lay their wares on the ground for tourists to buy. Everyone has pretty much the same stuff - beaded bracelets, woven baskets, some sculptures and wooden goods. As soon as you walk in, someone comes up and explains that he will guide you through and if you pick out items, he will negotiate the lot for you from different vendors. The guy then follows you around the entire time. Just when you think you’ve finally lost him, he appears out of nowhere. The vendors themselves are very aggressive. They see a mzungo coming and know that there is money to be had. They grab you by the arm and introduce themselves and try to drag you over to their goods. If this were New York, it would be easy to just ignore or yell at these guys, but here, it seems so wrong. I didn’t buy anything this time, but I’m sure I’ll return and stock up on souvenirs to bring home.

This week we finally move to the new office so I’ll have a bit more flexibility as I can walk to work. We’ve got a busy week ahead with lots of deliverables and deadlines. One country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, has already gone out into the field to administer the survey we’ve been working on and the others are set to go over the next couple of weeks. I think we have a holiday on Wednesday as it is the end of Ramadan. Even though this isn’t a majority Muslim country, any excuse for a holiday seems to be accepted.

1 comment:

Susan said...

If it looks like an apple...

I am loving the title of your posts. Your attention to detail about the ordinary makes it extraordinary. To be honest...I would have paid what it took to get inside Karen Blixen's house.

Thank God for the internet that you won't have to miss the Sarah Palin Show on Thursday night. Enjoy.

All is well at 344 Winter St. Thanks for putting me in the loop.