Monday, October 18, 2010

Just another day...

Today was James's day off. A day off to do all the errands and stuff that needed to be done, since he was gone last week. He took the kids to school and then came back home to get Grace and I to run the errands. The 3 older kids were in school and running around didn't appeal to the little boys so they stayed home, which was just as well.

We had heard there was a shoprite in a nearby area to us. When I go once a week to Shoprite we usually drive about 20 minutes and it is in a shopping center that is currently under construction and being turned into a Mall.
It seems to have the cheapest prices for just general grocery shopping. So when James heard there was one nearby we decided to look for it.

We drove in the general direction and then stopped about 3 different times to ask people walking by for directions. Most Zambians we have talked to for directions do not say turn right here and then a left. They move their arm in a sweeping motion and say, you go this way! So a little hard to follow sometimes.

We found the store it was pretty small, a total of 5 or 6 aisles I think.
Literally every single person in that store was staring at us. We would walk down an aisle and heads would just follow. Then later I would look over a certain way and there would be a flurry of heads turning back so we wouldn't see them staring. The area it was in must not be frequented by white people.
Even going to Kabanana we have not been stared at like that.
We found a few items and checked out, with about 8 pairs of eyes on us. just at the checkout.

I had to laugh to myself because it really was every single person. Just staring… Not the threatening stare which occasionally have felt, but just a "what is going on here type of stare"
James said they probably rarely see a white woman in the store. Then on top of that for a white woman to be accompanied by her white husband in the morning at the store. And on top of all that, for a white woman to have her white husband with her and a black baby. That topped it all!

After there we went out to the other side of town to check on a door and a table.
About a month ago James went to buy a wood door. It had the carving of a lion on it. He gave the dimensions for the door we needed and asked for a lion and lioness and flowers to be carved in the three separate panels.
When the time came to pick it up, it had on it a lion and a rhinoceros. Not sure how the rhino and lioness were confused. But then where the flowers were supposed to be there was something that really looked like 2 EARS.
Very strange. He was disappointed but brought it home anyway because we needed a door. ( Ours was rotted through and I got locked in once). He spent quite awhile trying to hang the door and when it finally was hung, it would not close. They made it wrong, even though he had given the dimensions. It was too wide.
So it has been hanging for about a month anyway and he finally had time to go by and ask them to make another door.

He had planned to bring the old one and exchange once the new one was made. So we drove out to where they make them which is on the side of one of the roads. I stayed in the car because Grace was sleeping and watched all the deliberations. About 8 men are involved in the business sale and all giving their thoughts on the matter.
After about 15-20 minutes he came back and said they will not make it until they have the old door because they don't have money for materials and need to sell the one door first to be able to make the next door.
So we drove off to the next stop, which was to pick up a wood table for outside that one of James's students was making for us. Last week he had told James that the table was ready. It was finished.

So, we drove out to where he was going to meet us. We waited for a while and then e said no he was at the bus stop. So we drove back to the bus stop and then James called him again. He wasn't there but was at another bus stop further down. We needed to "keep coming straight". We finally found him and he hopped in the car and we said hello. Then he took us to where his workshop is. He does nice work carving things, A basic table is not really what they do, but he was still making it for James. He showed us the office, outside where "his boys" as he referred to them were all busy working and hand chiseling the designs out. They work kind of in stalls set up to other booths or shops. We said it all was nice and then he came back to his office and right outside showed us our table. It was not finished. Built but holes still needed to be filled in with the putty and a stain put on it, etc. We told him thanks for showing us his place and let us know when the table is finished.

All that time and effort and it was not ready. EVEN though he told James it was ready.
We drove away just thinking, "well that was interesting." What else can you say or do?

We stopped in town to pick up a couple things and then headed home.
I made lunch and then James went to take Katryn to get her fingerprints done so she can apply for the work visa. That didn't go as planned, and then another stop he made to pick up something from the landlord's office still was not ready and available even though a month ago they said it would be ready.

He stopped at another grocery ( because they didn't have chicken at the shoprite we went to earlier in the day)
and only found chicken dated as expiring today. So yet another grocery store to find chicken.

It was just one of those days. Which quite frankly happen a whole lot more here in Zambia than they do in America. I asked him if he was enjoying his day off… Thankfully Saturday was more restful.

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