Day 11


Today is Market Day.  I had the experience of accompanying Brother Sylvanus, the house bursar (the one who keeps the money!)  to do the weekly shopping.

I must say that I recognized right away that Brother Sylvanus is the right guy for the job of bursar.  Nothing is spent needlessly with him!  First, we stopped at a shop where we could get dry goods: canned powdered milk, sugar, coffee, soft drinks, toilet paper, and stuff of that nature.  Repeatedly I heard him say, “How much is that?”   Finally, when we had amassed all the stuff that Brother Sylvanus wanted to buy, he very meticulously prepared an invoice with each item and its cost.  We loaded everything into the truck and went on the open market.

Now, this was a rather exotic site!  Row after row of people selling fresh produce.  It was an extremely hot day, and everyone—whether sitting at a table or on the ground—was under the cover of a cloth awning or tarp.  Beautiful, colourful fruits and vegetables—all fresh, all organic, and pesticide free—were to be seen and enjoyed in abundance.  As we made our way from stall to stall, Brother Sylvanus would pick out what he wanted.  The merchant would say, “That is 800 SSD (South Sudanese Pounds, about $2 USD).  And Brother Sylvanus would try to talk them down: “600 SSD”. “No, 800 SSD”.  “How about 700 SSD?”  “No, 800 SSD”.  This could have gone on all day, and believe me, it was hot!  So, I reached into my pocket and gave the woman an extra 500 SSD (about $1.25 USD!).  So, I was able to come off looking like the “good guy”!

We brought everything home, unloaded the truck, and put everything away.  It was now time for a shower and a nap!  This heat can be such that someone like me, who is not used to it, finds his energy just drained by it.

The provisions we brought home will be lovingly prepared by the two wonderful women who help us daily with the preparation of meals and with laundry, Hosanna and Josephine.

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