Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mental Snapshots

I have a few vivid mental snapshots already from our time here. One is being amazed as a man maneuvered a herd of goats across a BUSY four lane road in the middle of the city this morning. How none of the goats got hit (drivers here just don't stop!) and how he kept the herd from bolting, I'll never know! And where were they going anyway?

Another was this afternoon walking behind Aaron. Five boys who were begging decided Aaron was their best friend, put their arms through his or around his shoulders, and walked with him a couple of blocks. They wanted money, of course, but Aaron good naturedly handled the attention anyway.

Last night we were walking along a road where the traffic was at a stand still. A taxi pulled up on the side road where we were crossing. Since he couldn't possibly pull out into the road ahead of him I, in my western mindset, assumed that he would stop and let us walk in front of him. The Stop sign that was right in front of him gave me that impression, too. Wrong! Hannah reached back and pulled Adam out of the way (my mental snapshot) as he continued forward to get every inch he could into the traffic jam ahead. Adam's hand is now being held every time we cross a street!

If there's something you need in this city you often have to go to a street dedicated to that product to find it. Rachel needed new contacts (cheap here!!!) so today we went to the eyeglasses district. Sure enough, the whole street was full of shops selling glasses and nothing else! The eye doctor came highly recommended but his office was a little dingy cubbyhole in the back. He took out the old kind of apparatus that you have to wear on your face to check her prescription. Looked like something from fifty years ago but he still did a good job and was up to date on topics like laser surgery!

I love the images in my brain of the lovely women at the business! The expressions on their faces and in their eyes are so different from those still working the streets right outside the door.

Other events: This morning I met Steve's brother who's here leading a team from the States! The last sibling of Steve's for me to meet. It's been fantastic to meet the other foreign staff where we'll be working. They're great! We've literally walked miles in our time here so far. There's a subway (metro) through the city but there's a lot of walking to get to it and around the districts once you arrive in them. We've also climbed LOTS of stairs down and back up again into stations. Think we'll all be pretty fit pretty soon!

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