Monday, January 19, 2009

SUPPORTING THE LOCALS

I have tried for a while now to focus on supporting the things that are locally owned and made around me. At home, I can't do this with a lot of things. I can try to avoid big box stories, hit up the farmers market, eat at locally owned and operated restaurants, or support my local coffee shop as much as possible. But sometimes time and money make my efforts fall short of my intentions.

In a small town in Africa, this gets a little easier. Here are some of our local hang outs and some pics I can post.

ACCOMMODATIONS: We are staying at a local guest house run by a local pastor. We went to church with he and his family on Sunday. Their church is in a village not far from here. It was 60 or so people in a building made of sticks, wooded slats with a tin roof and a dirt floor. It was great to support the work they are doing.


FOOD: There's not much imported around here anyway and there are no restaurant chains. So eating local is our only option. But it's tons of fun anyway.

  • Breakfasts: We eat all our breakfasts in our guest house.
  • Lunches, coffee, and an occasional ice cream: We have enjoyed revisting a coffee/lunch stop called "the Source" which is run as a ministry to the community by a local church. We are known by name and face here- and were recognized again on day one back in town. We almost can order "the usual". Give us another week and I'm sure we can. We also have enjoyed two new stops: Indulge and Flavours, both of which have good food, java, and local cooks and staff.
  • Dinners: We do about 60/40- home cooked at the guest house and eating out. Lots of places close pretty early for dinner, but we have 3 spots we like. The Nile Resort (too expensive for normal day stuff, but a nice treat once a week while we are here). The King Fisher and 2 Friends. All good eats, all local, and all worth the boda ride to get there.

ART: We have purchased some art from the artists locally here. It's been fun to get to know the local talent and support their efforts.

We have contracted two pieces- one for our stairway (in progress below) and one for our daughter's room from Angelo.



I bought a carved bowl in the shape of a local fish from a carver named Hassan.


I bought another painting from a local artist, Gerald- for our youngest boy's room.


We are having classic African shirts made for our first "family photo" from a seamstress named Maureen.



BASIC SERVICES: I have been getting around via local boda boda (and have the cell of a driver named David saved), buying some supplies from the local market, hiring some local help for laundry, and doing what we can to help those who live in this community daily to get a head a little by supporting their efforts to make a living.


ONE FINAL NOTE ON LOCAL TRANSPORTATION: you see a lot of stuff tied to motorcycles and carried on top of one's head to get it from point a to b. There is no age (young or old) or size (big object or small one) that evidently determines any limitations. It no longer surprises me or shocks me to see the creative enginuity of the African people to get around. I have seen couches, a HUGE live pig, entire stores, piles of people, 20 ft long boards, and much much more tied to a motorcycle or bike. Today I saw an entire family of 5 on one glorified moped. Mom was sitting side saddle in a skirt behind dad who was driving. She had a suitcase behind her and a small child on her lap. Between dad and the handle bars were two more boys, probably age 5 and 3 I'd guess, the last of which had a bungee cord seat belt that kept him firmly on the handlebars and pressed back into Dad and his brother. As I passed them getting ready to drive ahead, I really wished I had taken a pic, but I didn't have the guts to ask permission and I didn't want to be rude. But it was still awesome. If it weren't for US laws, I could evidently fit my whole family of 7 on a harley.

3 comments:

Anonymous,  11:57 PM  

Nice post. Speaking of transportation, how do you get a large painting home from Uganda. Will it be a rolled up canvas that you can take on the plane?
Dad

Vanessa,  5:00 PM  

Those paintings are beautiful, I love the elephant.

Anonymous,  11:46 AM  

Awesome site, thanks for sharing! The paintings are great. As for the transportation, sounds like the milnickel's here in Ohio!

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Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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