So, we haven’t been great at posting a lot of the day-to-day stuff we’ve been working on…here’s a shot at changing that. Also, as a teaser, we’re almost done with our video tour of the center we’re working in, so check back soon for more on that.
Anyway, today I was doing my laundry at our washing machine
when Madre Clara, the one in charge of the center (the center is: the day care, kindergarten, vocational school, and orphanage, plus where we live), shouted across the field that she was going to the market in Santa Cruz (the large city of 1 million plus people, 1hr to the south of our city) and that I should come help her. So, I quickly finished up my clothes, and left Laura to put them on the line (thanks honey!). We got in the truck and headed down. Our driver, Javier, was her nephew who is 20 and studying to be an accountant, and trying to learn English, so for the hour long drive down there I ran through basic English phrases with him.
When we got to the market, which is contained in a steel building larger than several football fields, we entered and started to walk up and down the aisles looking for what was on the list. Each aisle has about 5-7ft of width (similar to the aisles in a super market), but there are a ton of people in them, and on the sides of the aisles are hundreds of different stands all about 10ft across. For some of the bigger operations, they will rent (I assume renting is the system here) two or three adjacent stands.
I basically took on the role of Dagwood, carrying the purchases (40 clip-on ties for kindergarten graduation, 20 steel rollers for keyboard trays in the computer lab, 10 aprons for teachers, and the largest container of paper I have ever seen) behind Madre Clara’s Blondie as she tore through the crowded aisles looking at different stands for the best deals. I wish I could have taken pictures or videos of this, but I was a bit afraid to pull out my camera and announce to any pick pockets that might be around that I had a nice electronic in my pocket. Amazingly, we got through the market in about an hour and a half (it would have taken me much longer) and then headed back to Montero.