Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Day of Shopping

Our day began early to prepare for an exciting day of adventure and shopping. Before leaving the hostel, the contingent ensured our bags were packed and ready for loading when we arrived back later in the day. After walking for half an hour we arrived at the famous Maasai market.

The contingent split up into groups with everyone having their own story to tell, here is Ryan’s account:
As we approached the market entrance, I was caught by the middleman Moses – middleman being an individual who followings you around and assists you by ensuring a bountiful share of the price you pay. After exchanging formalities, we tried our best to get rid of Moses because he was quite irritating. He would follow us everywhere; and promising to help me buy everything I would need at a reduced cost. However, soon enough we learned his assistance was in vain. While “assisting” us, he increased the cost of items to his personal benefit. For example, he tried to sell us two statues for 8200 shillings (about 120 dollars). For me, I spent most of my time in the crowded bustling, mzungu-laced market, trying to ditch my self-appointed “helper” and shrugging off the advancing shop owners throwing their goods upon us. At the market the locals were selling traditional African paintings, bubbly hippos in surplus, Maasai blankets (shukas), bracelets, jewelry, masks and various weapons. We came up with various schemes to get things for cheaper. However, thanks to Moses, we spend more than we wanted.

After a busy day of the market we walked back to the hostel and loaded the vehicle. As we are all ready to leave, a decision was made to postpone the Ostrich riding for another day. We then took a six-hour drive to Tsavo East for a busy day of Safari tomorrow!

by Rachel and Ryan

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