Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Walk to Market

Sights: uneven road forcing walkers to choose muddy gutter or risk of being hit by zooming motorcycles; schoolchildren with blue, maroon, or yellow walking shorts returning from their lunch break to classes; 2 year old child walking behind mother and carrying blade of mpanga (knife); stares at my legs reminding me that even shin-length skirts are not long enough; BundiNutrition demonstration garden fruitful with papaya, moringa, bagonja, cassava; men sitting in shade; women with bundles on their heads; a car with backseat full of bakery bread selling it to whomever walks by; man making chapatti; children outside the gate and men gathered within gate of Nyahuka Town Council around something; blood spilling out on the road as the “something” was a goat being slaughtered; a father swoop up his naked little son who is walking in the nearby garden

Smells: pungent sour smell of fermenting cocoa beans spread out on tarps to dry in the sun; stench of mud and litter muddled together in the entrance to the market; overwhelming smell of dried or blackened fish heaped on tables waiting to be bought; smell of burned petrol from the boda bodas that drive off with paying passengers; fragrant gardenia outside my kitchen window

Sounds: shrill giggle of neighbor girl in my katubi; bleat of neighbor’s baby goat that is close by her mother tied up to Pat’s fence; chorus of “mzungu” as pass by; counting in Lebwisi as I communicate mostly through charades that I want 4 heaps of tomatoes; loud African techno that comes from a group of market-dwellers’ battery operated radio; Aidan’s cries as I come home; consistent sound of a small fan in the office that tells me we have electricity

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