Bartering for bargains

Today we made one of our last trips to Nairobi for some last-minute shopping. We went to the Sarit shopping center, which again looked more like an American shopping mall. After spending some time there we went across the street to the Blue Dukas, which are small shacks in which the owners have souvenirs and their trinkets to sell. This was definitely an interesting cultural experience! As soon as we stepped into the dukas the people descended upon us.

It was so overwhelming at first; every shop owner was trying to pull us into their shops and trying desperately to convince us to buy something. Once we became more confident we were actually able to barter with them and make some good buys. It was fun to experience more parts of this culture and to learn from them. In the short amount of time we have been here I am so grateful for all the different cultural experiences we have had.

On our way back from shopping we stopped and bought grilled corn on the side of the road. As soon as the van stopped the eager sellers descended yet again with all kinds of produce. The corn was worth it, though: it was so fresh and good. Definitely one of the highlights of the day.

As the end of our trip is near I look back and cannot believe all that we have seen and done in these past three weeks. God placed each of us on this trip for a reason and we have grown and learned so much.  As we look forward to returning home we are full of anticipation and apprehension. It is going to be hard to return to our culture after everything we have experienced.

As we wrestle with these things, we will grow into who God wants us to be. It is frustrating when it seems like we are too insignificant to make a difference in all the poverty and hurt we have seen here. However, we need to remember that God does not expect us to change the world. If we are willing to give God control, He will equip us for what we are meant to do, and that can have a greater impact then we can ever imagine. I am so blessed and thankful for what God has taught me on this trip, and I know that it will affect me for the rest of my life.

Eve Smalley


  1. Eve, I'm glad your trip has been so meaningful to you. These are memories you will carry with you the rest of your life. I miss you and look forward to seeing you this weekend. Bring me back some corn!! Love, Dad

  2. The other person is basically saying they value you and either genuinely love you or really want to play traffic jam 3d with you.


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