And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God!
Eph 3:18

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Phil 2:5-8

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Marketplace Scavenger Hunt

My third week in Lilongwe, we had New Teacher Orientation all week. Part of our orientation was a Scavenger hunt in the local marketplace.

We spent the morning recieving an information overload. Then around noon we were split up into 3 groups and each group was assigned a guide. The guides were students from ABC College. Their job was merely to help us find our way around the confusing maze that is the marketplace. They were not to do our bartering for us, as the goal was both to be the first back to campus and to pay the least amount for everything on the list. Of course, the singles were segregated into our own group, and we were assigned a terrific guide named Alinani. 

In Malawi, the rainy season begins in late November. Supposedly, it does not ever rain outside of rainy season. As one could expect however, for our outing, God provided a day of unseasonable rain. We set off to stand on the side of the road in order to catch a mini-bus into town.

Eventually (after about 45 minutes of watching packed mini-buses pass us by,) our group boarded one and joined the other sardines packed into this particular tin can. The mini-bus is actually a mini-van with 5 (yes, I said FIVE) rows of seating. The benches each have and extra seat which folds up to allow people to pass into the back  row.

In the market we began looking for the items on our list. We bartered our way through the fruit/vegetable stands all the way back to the bridge.

We crossed over the river to the back market. Here we bartered for housewares, fabric for a Citinje (the local skirt that the women tie around their waste). We looked at all the Used clothes for sale, the hair-dressers, the garage-sale type booths. Get  picture of the local butcher... It was all very overwhelming.


Finally, back to the Mini-bus "station" where we caught a ride home. We were the first team back, (thank you Alinani!!!) However, another team paid less for their wares, and they won the game. But all the singles came to my house. I made a meatloaf and we played games and laughed our heads off for hours. So I think we were the ultimate winners!!!




  1. How often do you go to the market? Do you have a central eating place or does everyone eat in their own apartment? What's the craziest "native" food you've eaten yet?

  2. We all eat at our own homes. We have to go to the market at least once a week. Cooking is a lot more work. There are some pre-packaged foods available, but they are outrageously expensive. We can get "Top Ramen" pretty cheaply. (Of course the brand name is not Ramen) Sadly, I have almost no exposure or access to native food. I have eaten Nsima, THE malawian staple food. It's a mush made of corn flour. They eat it with every meal. They eat with their fingers and use the Nsima to scoop up the food and put it in their mouth. It's kind of tastless, but I really like the texture.