Friday, February 19, 2010

Think of it as Haverty's

Things have been pretty busy around here lately. Not unusual in the least. Between keeping up with our three little ones, Rhett's work at the hospital, welcoming and hosting a steady stream of guests (we love this one!) and trying to keep up with the cultural adjustments necessary as we learn how to live life here - time has been short!

Another thing was added to our plate when we found out that we would be moving soon! This is a huge blessing and answer to prayer! Will be soon be moving into a wonderful house with a safe YARD for our kids to run around and be kids in! Yay! No more worrying about them getting hit by a car in the parking lot that is our front yard now or falling down the 6ft. concrete drop off out back! We have been busy making the preparations to move which included putting a fresh coat of paint in the house and buying all of the necessary things to fill a house (which is currently completely empty). What could have taken a day in the States with a visit to Lowe's and Target has taken 2.5 weeks and 3 trips to Nairobi so far! Yesterday we finally made a trip to buy furniture. Where do you buy furniture in Africa? Well if you come at the right time you can buy it from other missionaries leaving which is awfully convenient but in our situation we had to make like a local and head on down to Ngong Road to buy our things. Here's a glimpse. Don't miss the goat in the picture!

On this strech of Ngong Road there is shop after shop of handmade furniture. They all start running into each other and looking the same after a while. We got out started walking up and down the street looking for the things we needed.

Here is an example of stark cultural differences here in a sample conversation you might have (and we did) with one of these furniture shops . . .

How much for this bed and table and couch?

The bed is 6,000 shillings, the table is 10,000 and the couch is 12,000.

I see . . . OK.

But because you are my customer the bed is 5,300, the table is 8,000 and the couch is 10,000.

OK well that still seems high.

That is not the discount price. The discount price is for the bed at 5,000, the table at 7,600 and the couch at 9,500 . . . . . . .We can still negotiate though.

Well, then what is the best price you can give me?

The best price is 4,800 for the bed, 7,000 for the table and 9,000 for the couch.

OK, well I think we will keep looking.

Wait I still have not given you the very last price of 4,500 for the bed, 6,800 for the table and 8,500 for the couch.

This just goes on and on. We tried to get a good deal and after visiting 3 different shops we think we did. It made us feel better when we found out that they had another large order from someone at Kijabe Hospital.

We picked out the necessary pieces of furniture (some of which are being made for us) and will look forward to having the arrive in about 10 days or so. We don't know if this is 10 days "Kenya time" (which could be up to a month) or 10 days "American time" (which would actually be 10 days) but we will find out!

On the way home our driver stopped to fill up the car here . . .

We had a pretty hard time swallowing lining these pockets since we won't even buy gas from Citgo in the US because it is owned by the Venezuelan (Hugo Chavez) State Oil company. However, in this situation we had no choice so we took this picture then looked the other way :)

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