Reason #1. So when I come home and you see me in a grocery store or mall you'll understand why tears of joy are running down my cheeks.
Reason #2. So that when I show you photos of what we eat, you'll understand why our food looks the way it does.
Reason #3. So that even when you go to No Frills, you won't ever complain again about the produce for sale. The fact that the carrots at No Frills are more orange than mold is something to be thankful for.
This is the Mango market. On Market day. Which is Sunday.
This is just outside the actual market where people set up their stalls. You can't see what's for sale in this shot but it does show that market day is busy.
This is the Kara market, the one that has really nice produce that we have to drive two hours to get to. We love the Kara market. It has full sized green peppers that are fresh and crisp rather than the wrinkly tiny ones we get in Mango. You can even get potatoes here!
Back to Mango. This is the outside of one of the stores we shop in weekly. We call it the Fulani store because a Fulani family owns it. You can get tomato paste, toilet paper, Coke, a mayonnaise type product, powdered milk, and lots of other stuff here.
The fun part comes when it's time to pay. Solomon, the owner, has a calculator and hands another one to you. He says the prices of each product and you both enter them at the same time. If at the end, you come to the same number, it's deal. If not, you start all over again and see if you can come to the same price. This could take a few tries.
This, my friends, is Mono Prix. The Home Depot of Mango. I love this little store. This is where we buy bleach (often) and batteries, may be oatmeal, envelopes, whatever. This store has a lot of stuff tucked inside. The other day I asked for cooking oil. The owner didn't have any but he sent one of his staff as a runner for it. A few minutes later, the guy came back with cooking oil. I love the customer service here. Next time I'm going to ask for a burger and fries.
Emily and I went to market the other day to the Mango version of Baby Gap. We bought a few little items for Odile's new baby, Ixosir. We also met this adorable man who was dancing down the streets to some music that was blasting. He saw us and wanted to greet us. So I gave him a few francs and got my photo taken with him. Notice his t-shirt. This guy knows how to have a good time.
Look, Mango has a Shell station. Except that it doesn't. We have a Shell sign and an abandoned Shell pump, but no station.
Last Saturday, a few of us went to Kara for a little shopping trip. From left to right is Jody, Christine, me, Victoria and Janice. We had a great time going from boutique to boutique finding all sorts of fun stuff like cookies, Doritos (the real kind!), and more.
One of our last stops on the trip was a really cool boutique called Codhani. Codhani has all kinds of items made from fabric that is made right on the grounds by people with disabilities. They make the fabric, dye it with batik patterns, then make great stuff. You can get shirts, dresses, skirts, quilts, boxer shorts, towels, aprons, purses, and so much more. If you ever come to Mango, I will bring you to Codhani.
Everything is hand-made by the people and it gives them a decent income when otherwise they would have nothing at all. Nothing in Togo is "accessible" so if you have a special need, you're pretty much an outcast.
This is a cute baby quilt I got there. (Shh...don't tell anyone who has a baby back in Canada that this is what they'll be getting.) This was $6.00 Cdn. That's cheap for a handmade quilt. I am even thinking of getting one made for our bed.
It's a really cool store with purpose.
There ya go. Our little shopping excursions are pretty simple but there are some neat surprises every once in a while. Like in Kara, I found PEPSI. The real stuff. That made me very happy.