I had the best of intentions of blogging yesterday and sharing about my wonderful birthday the day before. However; I ended up with a stomach bug and was sick all day yesterday. Luckily it was a quick one day deal and I'm feeling much better today. I kind of figured I would get sick at some point, so this feels a little bit like my initiation and I'm glad it's over!
To say I had a wonderful birthday would be an understatement. I figured it would be a low key day seeing at though I'm in a new place with new faces. However; my wonderful roommate made my day so special from start to finish. She made me breakfast in the morning and gave me a purse as a gift (I've been wanting one as I didn't bring one with me). We then went to a wonderful place for lunch and met up with some of the gals from ABC. I had an absolutely amazing latte with perfect foam and a grilled chicken salad that was to die for. It was also wonderful to share a great meal with such wonderful people who I know I will become close with over this next year. Michelle then surprised me with a pedicure (never in a million years would I have thought this was what I'd be doing on my birthday in Africa) but it was so nice as I watched the water turn a brown color from my feet. We then went shopping in the market and this was by far my favorite part of the day. I feel as though there is so much to take in and I'm just trying to keep up. After parking, I started to follow Michelle, but there were so many people and so many turns to take, that she eventually had me lead the way. There were all sorts of fresh produce booths and lots of small stands where there was one man sitting inside, surrounded by gadgets and toys. We proceeded to take a few sharp turns and walked down narrow passage ways that took us out to a section that had fabrics. It was so neat to look through all of them and to speak with the women who were selling them. I love how they try to pick out what you might like and hold it up to you. I ended up purchasing three patterns, one for a skirt and two for shirts. It was a wonderful overwhelming feeling with all the sights, sounds, and smells. I cannot wait to go back and experience it again!
I'm sorry I do not have pictures to post. I am working to be sensitive and also want to make sure I'm taking the time to become familiar with the places I'm going and the roads I may soon be driving. I will try and get pictures when the timing is appropriate. There's so many beautiful images here that I would love to share with you! Until then, I will do my best to put into words just a fraction of what I see. It truly is an incredible place and I still cannot believe I am here.