Koidu is the nearest town and the drive there is approximately 40 minutes and alternates between bumpy paved and bumpier dirt roads. The town is busy on a usual day and even more so on Market Day. Like a market in any culture, people set up their goods to sell in make-shift stalls or by wandering around carrying their items to entice. I volunteered to accompany Mohammed to buy food and items for the upcoming week for camp. Unfortunately, the first few things that struck me about the market were rather unpleasant. The first thing I noticed was the unrelenting stench of waste that was coming from piles on the ground. Next, it was the droves of flies that were landing on any surface available, which included me. Also, it was the staring faces. It almost became comical after a while that people would slowly circle around me and simply stare wide-eyed, without inhibition. If I met eye contact with one of the children they would bust out in a smile as if the strangest thing on earth just acknowledged them. For those of you that know me as a vegetarian, and my increasing aversion towards animal products, would have been proud of my participation today. The meat area was a dirty covered area where I passed dismembered cow hooves on the ground and entered the carving area to watch them hack at what was hanging from hooks. Nonetheless, it was an experience that I appreciated and was thankful that Mohammed took the time to explain the various stages of market shopping to me.
Today was also the day that Alastair had planned to address their grievances of the workers. The morning was spent in various stages of discussion with the group. It became a bit rowdy at time but by noon, thankfully, they had come to terms to settle on.
As far as my chickens go, I noticed they had disappeared by the time I returned from Koidu so I’m not going to ask any questions :)