a little bit of wandering…

In the last 24 hours, 15 were spent on a bus ride from Jinja to Kigali, Rwanda.  River West has a team here with Africa New Life and I asked if I could join the fun.

The team spent last night at a game park and hasn’t returned yet.  So, I was left to my own devices.  First, I showered. Second, I ate.  Third, I napped.

Having covered all my vital bases, I decided to head out on a walk for the afternoon.  One of my favorite things to do is just walk around places and see what their neighborhood is like.  What are homes like?  Who lives in the homes?  How does life flow?  It’s amazing how much you learn from using your feet!

And being mildly obsessed with food, I really love checking out small local grocery stores.  Particularly in Africa, I like to see what each country embraced from other cultures.  For instance, there is a TON of Indian food in Jinja–who would have guessed?  Individually packaged waffles seem available everywhere here.  There are also lots of Pringles everywhere I have been.  Which is really odd.  (Which is not to say that PMS did not have me purchase a can recently…)

First, let’s have a moment of silence for the refrigerated and properly colored red meat.  (Sorry vegetarians but I literally felt my soul lightened by this beautiful display.)  Sugar is sold in little old school brown bags which are pretty adorable.  Otherwise, most stores had a pretty normal collection of juices, spices, flour, etc.

But ever the experienced shopper, I found some great goodies.  I immediately fell in love with the tiny bowl of donuts I found at one shop.  Seriously?  A bowl of adorable donuts? Who can resist that? I also purchased drinking chocolate which is available everywhere. And yes, I did dip the donut in the chocolate and it was heavenly. I also got Happy Hippo coconut biscuits because I love anything coconut but more for the name. I think everyone needs some happy hippos in their life.  And finally, I took a risk on home made potato chips.  SCORE OF THE CENTURY!  They were perfectly crisp, salty and delicious.  Truly, I am in love.  (And actually considered returning to his shop and buying his entire stock, but that seemed a bit crazy.)

You will also note a nice sized jar of dijon mustard in the photo.  In Uganda, food availability is always inconsistent and ever changing, so I am learning to hoard things immediately–rather than wait to return, when I am tragically disappointed that all the stock is gone.  I <heart> mustard and have not seen dijon in Jinja.  I may or may have not held this to my chest and hugged it when I spotted at this store.  This will return home with me and make me very happy in a few weeks.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find those adorable recycled burlap bags!  For about $2.50 I got two–one for me and one for a dear friend that sent the perfect email exactly when I needed it this week.  Recycled, practical and so cute!

So I think I covered all of the bases of vacation consumption today and all for under $10.  A pretty great start to my mini-break.




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