$10 at the Market

With the equivalent of $10, the school matron and I went to the main market in Mombasa today and purchased thirteen pineapples, thirty-five oranges, and forty-one bananas. And really, we bought all of that with $8, if you take out the money we spent on fare and buying sacks to carry the fruit.  Those pineapples are so delicious! Of course we were able to sample the fare before buying the pineapples and oranges.

This is Mama Irene, the school matron. She takes care of the thirty-seven students who board at the school. She’s very motherly with all the students and has a great sense of humor.  She was a pro at bargaining with the vendors. I was nervous that we’d be given a hard time, since my white skin attracts a lot of attention. But we had a hilarious time bantering with the young men who work as porters, who kept trying to get our phone numbers.

Mama Irene counted out the oranges (which don’t have very orange rinds even though they’re ripe) before putting them in the school’s pantry, while Mama Ruth watched.  Mama Ruth is a cook at the school and also lives in the compound. Both of them have children who attend Royal Kids.

Fruit is a special treat for the students. The school is on a tight budget and focuses on providing the basics. As a result, they can’t provide fruits as often as they would like. But for the next few days, the students will be feasting on fruit. Today, the students ate the bananas for lunch. For the next two days they’ll enjoy the pineapples. And the day after that they’ll eat the oranges. It was incredible to see how far $10 could go in providing enough fruit for all the students.

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