I am the type of person who has to write things down the moment I think of them or else I forget them altogether. So rather than making dinner I am sitting at my computer writing you guys an update =).
I have wanted to share how the Lord has been encouraging my heart over the past few weeks but finally my cultural experience today gave me the inspiration to put it into words. When we first arrived here the pula/dollar difference was quite the shocker. You would go buy a box of cereal that would normally be a few dollars and you see 35 pula! Which truly is expensive but the first thing that pops in your head is WHAT 35 dollars?? Then you remember “Oh ya, I have to divide that by 6 and a half”. The other shocker was how expensive everything was. I had in my mind that things would be really cheap over here. In a country where most everything is imported, cheap just isn’t possible. The combination of those two things could be very discouraging at times.
Recently the Lord has been really encouraging me with both of those areas! After 5 months of dealing with pula it isn’t quite so shocking anymore (except for when it really is shocking…seriously 30 US dollars for 1 pack of diapers??). Also I am starting to find what and where the cheaper things are. In the States I bought a lot frozen vegetables since you could typically get it cheaper than the fresh. Here it is the opposite. We have been having so much fun going weekly to pick out all of the fresh fruits and vegetables we want that week. Also the nice bakery bread you pay big bucks for in the States is what is cheap here. If you want the long lasting loaf you get from Wal-Mart for a dollar you pay a lot of money =). We were so encouraged to learn that and enjoy freshly home-made bread from the bakery each week! Yes, we do pay a lot for most things but we are getting spoiled in many areas as well!! One other thing I should mention is about our meat. Beef is the cheapest meat here and what we call Filet Mignon in the United States is one of the cheapest cuts here. You can get Filet for 3 US dollars per pound…needless to say we are getting very spoiled and I don’t know what we are going to do if we ever leave!
My cultural experience today came through a good friend who took me to her favorite little shop that she calls “The Spice Shop”. As we got out of the car I could smell all of the spices before even walking in. Then when I walked into this little store that is just a small room with concrete floors, I saw large bins in rows all across the room. Each bin was filled with a different spice, some with rice, and others with things that I have absolutely no idea what they are. I found the normal garlic pwd, oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary and so on. My favorite find was poppy seeds!! For less than 1 US dollar I got about the equivalent of 2 of your large jars of poppy seeds. All of the other spices as well as the rice were amazingly cheap! I picked out a number of things and after I left with my little bag of treasures I felt so encouraged and am still thanking the Lord for that awesome store that will be seeing a lot more of me! So there are cheap things here. You just have to patiently learn where they are. =)
So again today the Lord has really encouraged me in the grocery expense department! Next time I grumble over the price of diapers I will just remember I get to go home and eat a big Filet Steak for dinner and can buy a couple years worth of oregano for less than a dollar =). When you put it like that I don’t know why I ever grumble!! =)