After the chaos of the morning’s money exchange, we excitedly set off to the traditional Zambian market with pockets full of Kwacha. The popular monthly social event allowed us to practice our bargaining skills with the vendors who travel from all over Zambia to profit from their crafts. For some of the craftsmen, such markets sustain their livelihoods. A few encounters with the vendors made obvious the persistent ones; however, compared to other markets, we bargained in a relatively non-aggressive environment. With our family members and friends in mind, we looked through the stalls of jewelry, carved animals, pillows, clothing, purses, house wares, and other detailed crafts.
We were pleasantly surprised to see our friends from Chikumbuso selling their beautiful crocheted purses made of plastic grocery bags. The wafts of homemade delicacies attracted many bargainers to the food section of the market. A variety of Indian, Chinese, Zambian, and American cooking refueled us after a long and exhausting morning. The market left us with gifts to bring home, full stomachs, and an interesting insight into Zambian culture. We spent the rest of the day “exploding our donation bags” in order to sort teacher kits, clothing, and school supplies for Chikumbuso and the rural Malambo School.
Elizabeth, a student at Sidwell Friends School