Thursday, May 25, 2017

Things I see (Vol. 1)

At random times during my life here, I think to myself, "That's different."  

So before life gets too commonplace, I thought I would start sharing things that grabbed my attention during our first year here.

Like, it's really difficult to tell what you bought and what you paid for each item at a store.  
I still read this script really slow, so it would take me all day to translate my grocery receipt.



This truck of mattresses reminded me of Africa.  I think it's still "different" for me, because in America, the products carried by a semi are usually hidden INSIDE a container.



Usually the women here wear long, black abayas (full-body robe type clothing).  
 (Here's a group of 5 women headed to the market)
Because of that, this red Santa hoodie really made this lady stand out in the bread line one night.


 A truck, driving down the road, carrying material for dresses
 

There he goes!
Get your new, dust-covered material for your next holiday outfit right here!



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Garage Sale on Steriods

Well, I've shown you pictures of the bazaar near our house, but I don't think I've shown you pictures of a bigger bazaar in town. 

I have been there over seven times, and I STILL haven't seen the whole thing.  It goes on and on and on.  

Some of the items are used, but most are new.  I find it a fascinating place to go.

For example, we weren't sure we could find roller blades in this country, but here they are.


Who knew this even existed?  We were shocked to see Kylie's name all over the place.  I'm guessing this is "in" in America...


Sports shoes/gear



Overwhelming sometimes.


Well, if you're gonna sell one item, make sure it's a cute shirt...


What in the world?!


One of 6 or 7 toy stalls. 
It's basically hunt and find. 
There's always a man sitting in the shop trying to fix broken toys he's received.
Most of these toys have been owned and loved by someone and now they are up for re-sale.
The one exception is the LOADS of McDonald's toys that somehow make their way over here.



That is Doug's hand, and one giant fish!


Need some pots?


The one thing that does drive me a little crazy is the lack of organization.
It's like shopping at TJ Maxx or Ross, which are also not my favorite.

Why build shelves when you can use the floor to display your merchandise?


I didn't even photograph the curtains, fabric, bedding, children's clothes, kitchen wares, dishes, camping equipment, cobblers sewing shoes, plastic flowers, baskets, food, under-clothes, high heel shoes, carpet, etc. etc.  It goes on and on and on.

Let me know if you want to go sometime, and I'll be glad to take you :)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Party With a Few Friends


This year, for Newroz (March 20), the weather wasn't so great.  Many picnics were cancelled on the actual day and the rest of the week because of rain.  However, the day before Newroz, big celebrations were going on around the country.

We heard there was a shindig downtown and another at a park, so we decided to taxi to the one in the park, and see what was going on.  Caleb was at soccer practice, so it was up to the rest of us to capture the moment.

Well, there were Christmas lights everywhere.



There was a stage with speeches and dancers and singers.

There was a seating area built over the water.


And there were people!


Everywhere!


We decided to fit in with everyone else and take a selfie.  It's the rule to live by here.



The focus of the evening was this tower that had wood for a bonfire built on top..


In this picture, taken later in the evening, you can see a man climbing down after making sure all was well up top.


There was also a small bonfire built behind us on a large rock.


Newroz is all about the light of a fire.

I confess that I have been told the story once about why the fire in the mountains is significant, but for the life of me, I can't remember now. 

I saw this framed photo at a recent book fair, and I took a picture of it to show you how the fire is lit in the mountains.


Zoomed in.


There were torches present at the park, as well.




Finally, after a long wait, and a nasty trip to the bathroom (where Keira and I were asked to take pictures outside with a family of 6 one-by-one!), the fire tower was finally lit.

(incidentally, I had pictures of the bathroom, but I think I'll spare you)




Immediately after the tower was lit, there was a huge fireworks display.  
Much bigger than December 31 (since this is their New Year's).

When we first arrived, we didn't know what to expect or that we would be standing in a crowd for over two hours.  We listened to music and speeches in a language that we don't understand all that well, and we made some fun and interesting memories.  A few men came up to talk to Doug, take selfies with him, and get his contact information, but the rest of the evening was just about observing those around us.

However, immediately after the fireworks, we started making our way to the exit.  
It felt very similar to exiting an A&M football stadium after a game.  Moo!  Moo!

After a 30 minute walk, we found a taxi, and we made it home safely.  Happy late Newroz!