This morning Beth brought me (Karen) to the open air market that is just up the street from our house and is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Several ladies come to sell their goods – mostly vegetables, rice, beans, a few grains and fruit. It was fun watching Beth get into bargaining with a couple of the ladies who were higher-pressure saleswomen, but bargaining didn’t seem necessary with some others who were more laid back. Although we bought from a few different ones today, Beth said it is best to buy from the same woman each time so that others will not constantly try to sell to you. If the woman you buy from does not have what you need, she will go buy it from another vendor for you.
Today I spent the equivalent of just over $10 (U.S.) and bought lettuce, spinach, potatoes, onions, carrots, green beans, corn meal, red beans, garlic, and a few chicken bouillon cubes. Items like potatoes and onions are measured and priced by a marmeit – they use a large coffee can and heap it until no more can be piled on. The corn meal and red beans were measured with a ti (little) marmeit – a vegetable or soup-sized tin can filled to heaping. I need to learn my numbers (to understand prices quoted) and foods in Creole!
This afternoon Scott and I walked up to the Baptist Mission, somewhere around 3 miles up the road from our house. We had gone there in October with a medical mission team and wanted to go back sometime. There is a restaurant there that serves sub-style sandwiches, chicken strips, fries, pop, ice cream…connected to a little store selling Haitian-crafted household goods and decorative items and a few books. We bought a Creole Bible and a Creole pronunciation guide CD to go with the Creole Made Easy book we bought in October. We were planning to eat at the restaurant before we walked back home, but it was closing as we walked in a few minutes before 4:00 – guess we should have checked out the hours of operation on the door when we arrived.