The Sunday market

Don’t you just love it when a title forms itself? 🙂
I have been planning to check out the Sunday market on Luwum street since its inception many months ago. Sunday is such a tricky day, when it is not a completely lazy, family-filled one, it is occupied by chores, leaving no room for extensive movement.
I finally made it today!
After church, I thought I would take a nice stroll but the sun had other plans, then I decided a quiet taxi ride would be a decent plan B, there was none in sight. But why?! I was avoiding boda bodas. I need a day off from them but alas! I had to settle for one.
Upon arrival, I bumped into my friend, Ruth’s mom. She didn’t even have an idea what was happening as she was simply passing through. Her cheer set the pace for me and I happily checked out the selection of items on sale thereafter.
It is quieter and more ‘peaceful’ than shopping downtown but busier than an average mall. I thonk it also depends what time you go (or time of the month?)
I was looking for work out clothes, bottoms mostly. However, I started to notice that I needed 432 other things as I walked around. Thankfully, I did not have much money so it was easy to control any unnecessary urges.
I did get some pairs of socks and vests but the unbearable heat made it difficult for me to search further for more items on my list. It did not help that I was still a bit tired and hungry too.
I am always amused by the gentlemen who chant, make up songs for their merchandise and generally spice up the shopping experience (or annoy you depending on the mood) This particular one had ladies tops at 2,000 shillings. (Yes, seriously..hurry) He called upon passers-by, shooed men away (unless they were shopping for their wives) and then mentioned he had tops even for women as ‘big and shapeless as cows.’ Eh! At this point I walked by faster.

Photo : Google

Photo : Google

My favourite spot was definitely this particular stall that had handmade bags. The gentleman was quite calm and friendly too. Earlier on in the week, I had seen a laptop bag I liked (African print) although I did not want to purchase it without checking out a few other places. The solution was right before me! Bashir (who actually makes the bags) showed me around and his asking price was Ugx 10,000 lower than the other shop. I asked how much he sold them at his shop and he mentioned they charge an extra 5,000. His rate today was specifically for the market. Not one to miss an opportunity to bargain, I convinced him to lower his price a bit more. Finally, I purchased it at Ugx 15,000 less than shop X. It’s quite pretty and I finally get to return the one I’d borrowed from a friend and become too comfortable with. *Win*
Meanwhile, I got Bashir’s number in case you are interested. I contemplated ordering a custom made bag with specific colours but I feared these shillings would be no more by then. He also makes school bags, clothes, hand bags, shoes and more. I am always happy to support young Ugandan entrepreneurs like Bashir. I’ll definitely send people his way.
Now that I have a good idea what to expect, I am sure I shall come back on another day with full armour, hat, umbrella, shades (depending on the weather that day)
Most traders have clothes (for children and adults), bags, shoes,hats, scarves..If you have time, there is definitely potential to snatch some good buys.
Did I mention the music? Yes, you can sing along as you shop. That was definitely a plus for me, considering I went alone. The guy who speaks over the music, mmh, not so much.
There was no cat calling, pulling and shoving (the things that make me loathe the downtown shopping experience) until I made for the exit. Mr. sir tried to convince me to look at his dresses. I was too tired and my forehead could have easily fried at least one egg at that point. I politely told him I wasn’t interested and continued to walk. He grabbed my hand and held on till my wrists began to hurt.
I must have used every synonym for ‘leave me’ when he finally let go. It was at this point that he said “Okay, before you go, what’s your facebook user name?” Haha,what? I could NOT deal!
I recommend that you support these Ugandans. Yes, even that guy.
The market is open from 8 a.m to 6 pm.

Advertisements

Sacrifice

Am I the only one who thinks of the Elton John hit.. *breaks into song* “..but it’s not Sacrifice…..when I read that word? No? Okay. Moving on.

It’s drizzling as I type this. Most of my errands today involved a boda boda. In some cases, it is actually one that will take me from point A, to B and then C, while the rider waits for me to make some drop offs. As if that is not enough, I woke up with a cold in the middle of the night. The universe surely has something to say to me. I am smiling to myself because you can make plans for an entire year and in the end, half or less will work out the way you envisioned they would. Does that mean you stop planning? Definitely not!
When I noticed this week had a public holiday. I was overjoyed. Unlike most people, it was not because of the rest that these days tend to come with. It was the fact that I could get my team together for longer hours instead of the usual Thursday evening meetings. This time, we would leave while the sun was still out, or so I hoped.
When I mooted the idea, a few people suggested Wednesday night instead, so that they could rest on Thursday. Others just remained silent, probably thinking “Catch me leaving my bed.” I can certainly relate.Everyone needs a break.  ‘Jane’ assured me she could not come because she had to rest and insisted that we change the date. I encouraged her to take the rest but assured her the deliberations would still  go on as planned. She could  still get the updates.
I thought about our chat for a long time after that. 4040 has been one sacrifice after another for the past 3 and a half years. Some weekends and holidays are cramped with strategy meetings while the rest of the week sees most of the team receiving pressure from their 8-5 jobs,families and life in general. It just never stops. At 4040, you will get a thank you and “I am proud of you” now and then, and it is expected to be enough. Every so often, we shall have a retreat or a thanksgiving day but I guess one would argue that does not put food on the table. Something inside of you needs to speak to you, to make you believe/ understand why you do what you do.
People have walked into our doors and left, others have walked in and stayed, some have one foot in and another out depending on the situation, many more are yet to come. It is a quite a mix. It all comes down to what and how much of that you are willing to sacrifice.
At the end of the day, each individual has to decide why they do what they do. Whether it is for the passion, fun, fame, fortune, camaraderie, survival or simply as a pastime before your next fix, you and only you can determine that ‘one thing.’

Yesterday my friend and I were discussing a post we loved on ‘Humans of New York in which this gentleman worked at a restaurant as a maitre d’ (manager)  for 13 years. One day he was hospitalised for pneumonia and while he lay in hospital, he realised he didn’t want to return to his job. His ‘aha moment’ came when he watched a motivational speaker on t.v that said “Think back to what made you happy when you were young. That’s what you should be doing.” He remembered that he loved dogs and it would be great to become a dog walker. Long story short, he made a uniform soon as he got better, got his friends to wear it and they handed out business cards. He is  is now thoroughly enjoying his life.

HONY

In his words “I’ve been walking dogs for 14 years now. I’m the Pied Piper of dogs. I can walk five dogs in one hand, and five dogs in the other hand, and I can tell you which one needs to poop.”
Do you see how it really is about the little things?
During our meeting yesterday, we planned for a literacy project that we are launching at a Primary school in Kibuli today. We have a skit prepared for the little children from the story @The boy who cried wolf.”
As we acted, we had so many great laughs, including from some unserious sheep (Yes, sheep, because the story has sheep!) who were laughing instead of bleating and dying when attacked by the wolf. Meanwhile the wolf was roaring instead of howling. Smh <Remind me to hire people who went to acting school next time>
In that moment, I knew that we would be okay. See, it does not benefit you to have 100 people in your life who are there because they need something from you or because they have to be there. The ones who truly count are the 5 who are with you, because they want to be.

I shall be updating you on what the 132  (P.1 and P.2) pupils of St, John Baptist Primary School think of our acting plus our plan to make them fantastic readers/writers.
In the meantime, let me gulp my lemon-ginger-honey-garlic concoction and hit the road.

P.S: I can’t for the life of me remember why I wrote this but I feel better.
Have a fabulous weekend!