Saturday, September 08, 2007

A Day at the shops for Steph

Today I had the chance to go shopping with a fellow missionary, Elise Whifield. She picked me up and we drove to one of the two very Western shopping areas. I was very struck by how many "mzungus" (white people) there were there. It was a very hopping area. The first thing we did was go to a money exchange place so that I could exchange some of my $100 for Kwacha. I took $400 to exchange but unfortunately she would only exchange $300 because one of the bills had a tiny tear in the top. Who would've thought. With Kwacha there are no coins, and the exchange rate is about 4000 Kwacha to one US dollar. So, you can imagine the wad I came out of the store with. I had 1, 200,000 Kwacha all in 20,000 bills. Kinda crazy. The first store we went to was called GAME, and it is a mini Wal-mart type store. They had everything. I thought it might be interesting for you to see a little bit of my shopping bill so you could get a feel for what things cost. It adds a whole new dimension to shopping when you have to first figure out what something costs, and there are so many zeros to deal with. Anyway, here are a few items:
electric mixer- $28
mop- $8.90
bar soap (4 pack)- $2.45
Two matching bedside table lamps- $35.50
10 pack of hangers- $6.30
and my splurge purchase...a little snack maker that inclues plates for waffles (nobody had ever seen a waffle iron here when I asked so when I saw this I decided to get it. We had waffles tonight and they were great. It took a while because it only makes two at a time.)-$52
I didn't think that these prices were too terribly bad.
Then we went to lunch at a place called Kilmanjaro. I ordered a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich which was $3.75 and a vanilla milkshake which was $3.00.
After that we went to a grocery store called Shop Rite. Here are a few of my grocery purchases:
Bag of brown bread-$.57
Box of oat meal- $2.25
small wedge of mild cheddar cheese- $4.42
A head of broccoli-$1.25
6 Fuji apples-$2.07
2 Lit. 2% fresh milk- (they also have long life milk in the box)-$2.25
All, in all, it was a good day. I was surprised at how cheap some things were, but also noticed how expensive other items are. I wanted to buy a bottle of olive oil and the least expensive bottle was $20 for a small bottle. I decided I could do without.
I hope to start school next week, at least ease our way into it anyway. I still feel like I have much to do to get our house in order. We will go to church tomorrow at Lusaka Baptist with fellow missionaries. I'm looking forward to that.
I included a picture of Elise and I at lunch today.
Next time I write I will tell you all about my househelper Miriam and what it's like to have her around....
Hugs from Lusaka,


molly lilja said...

Wow Stephanie thanks for taking me shopping with you! That doesn't sound to bad, What are the people like? are they nice, chatty? or a little not so? How do they treat english speaking americans? Love this!
PS Any specific prayer requests?

Roger said...

Steph ~ I woke up early this morning after a night of not good sleep (Karson is getting sick) and had you on my heart. It was great to see a picture of you and know you were able to go shopping and out to lunch yesterday. I hope the first week has been smooth. I wanted to share a verse with you that has hit me this week about choosing God's ways over ours. "This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it." Is. 30:15 I am excited to be a part of your life over there via the internet ;)
Love, Sheri