Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Clumsy Day

Today was a very clumsy day.

I can't say that's a Nigerian expression because I've only heard it once, but it certainly fits the bill for today. As I kept penciling in events for Aug. 21, I could see that it just wasn't going to fit together very well.  But that's not really something to stress about here. I just decided to take it however it happened to come together--or fall apart.

By 9 a.m. I was ready to take David and Lily out to buy eggs and meat, but then a visitor showed up at our door. I prepared tea and visited for a bit and then left the visitor with Bayo.

By the time we came home at 10:30, that visitor had gone and a new visitor was in our home to spend the weekend. But he's been here before, and he's more of family than a visitor.

I took Tobi to a birthday party at 11. I still had a few minutes to spare before attending a going-away party at 12, so I went to a missionary garage sale. Even though I was quite late to the sale, I still found some delightful bargains. As I examined the dresses on the rack, I saw a really cute one that I just knew I had to buy. It was a size 6 so it was obviously not for me! I thought I might re-size it for Lily, but then it struck me: a perfect gift for petite Esther who turned 40 today!

I got home about 12, threw the dress into a cloth gift bag, figuring I'd see Esther later in the day. Turned the key in the ignition and Bayo called: "Can you come to Bezer Home right now? The children have thrown a surprise party for Esther, and we need you to come and take a few pictures." Not in the plan, but important. Have to swallow my pride because I had specifically instructed the five other people attending the going away party that they should not be late!

Zipped over to Bezer Home in 7 minutes. Had a fun 5 minute celebration. Zipped over to the going away party. Had to apologize as I walked in the door--everyone had a good laugh at my expense! Had a delightful time of conversation and fellowship with the other women. Left at 2 p.m--right when my next event was supposed to start. Told my passengers that I couldn't drop them at home because I was already late to my next meeting...but the sky was threatening to open up at any moment so I zipped them all back over to Bezer Home.

Came home, found people in my house, got out the icing sugar and glazed the donuts that were made in my absence. Got to the meeting about 2:35. About half of the people came after me so I didn't have to apologize this time! Had a delightful two hours of reading and discussing and sharing with other Nigerwives (foreign women married to Nigerians).

Got home at 5. Determined to do one more thing today. The daughter of Tobi's Tae Kwon Do coach turned 2 today. She's been sick and the parents have been so concerned. Glazed some more donuts. Gathered some little birthday gifts together with Tobi. The rain was pouring, but we went anyway. Discovered that Tobi really has a heart for encouraging others through gifts. Determine to find a way to foster this characteristic. The family was very happy that we had come. In fact, our 15 minute visit was the entire birthday celebration for the day.

Home again. Time to figure out supper. We have a visitor so I cook spaghetti. If not for him, it would have been a smorgasbord from the fridge!

Crash on the couch for awhile. Read to the kids. Call Grandpa and wish him a happy birthday. Have devotions. Pray.

Yes, it was a clumsy day indeed, but a very good day.

Fresh Food

For about a year, David and Lily have been selling eggs to our compound neighbors. Today I took them to buy eggs from a place that has about 500 chickens. We asked for 7 crates (30 eggs in a crate). The young man wasn't sure if he could fill our order because a buyer had come from Abuja the day before and taken nearly everything they had on hand. In the end, he did manage to get 210 eggs for us. He commented that the eggs were still warm because they had just been laid.

After we went to the chicken place, we headed to the meat market. Since this was my first time in the meat market this year, I greeted my usual seller with "Happy New Year!" That brought a laugh. I complimented him on his re-furbished stall. He shared that the whole place had been burned during the January crisis. Oh yeah, that's why I don't come to this market anymore. Strange that I had forgotten about that when I made my plans this morning.

I often send someone to buy my meat or I contact a man who will deliver it to my door, but today I just felt like buying it myself. I'm trying to buy the meat that I think we'll need for a month. I'm hoping this will help with menu planning and budgeting.

The seller asked which piece of meat I wanted. I said, "Show me the one that was slaughtered today." He pointed to one large piece, and said, "Can't you see it's still quivering?"

While we waited for him to cut the meat into pieces, David and Lily got a biology lesson from studying the dead goat on the next table. I was pleased that they could both look at it objectively without thinking it was gross. They saw a kidney, liver, lungs and stomach. I think the stomach is the most amazing organ with its thousands of surfaces for absorption.

Later in the car David commented, "That table was SO dirty." All of the meat is displayed and cut on wooden tables.

I responded, "Yes, David. That's why we wash it and cook it really well."

Then we went in search of the pork. I kept stopping, searching, and asking. One woman sent me back the direction I had come. After a few minutes I knew that wasn't right. She saw me coming back and asked if I found it and I said, "No, I'm still looking for the pork."

"Oh! I thought you said you wanted a pot!" Then she sent me off in another direction.

We saw some live pigs, but we never did find the fresh pork meat. Now I've decided just to ask someone to go and buy it for me on Monday.

Next week my helpers will mince, slice and chunk the meat the way we like it.

I really enjoyed my outing with the kids this morning. I wouldn't want to do it every Saturday morning, but once in awhile it's nice--and it's nice to find food that's really fresh!