Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shopping and Monkeys

...but NOT shopping for monkeys! 

During Marshall's last deployment, I made a pretty hefty purchase of a fabulous piece of art, made by a friend from NC.  I decided that for each deployment Marshall goes on, I get to buy another piece of art.  So, with that in mind, we went in search of some African art.

In a large field that on the weekends holds a huge Market, we found this man selling his paintings.  He's actually Kenyan, and much of his art shows the Maasai people.  Maasai are a mainly nomadic tribe who follow their herds through Kenya and neighboring Tanzania.  All of this was painted on canvas, and he just laid it out for me to say "Yes" or "No".  Once he realized my preferences, he could quickly dig through his piles and pull out more!  Some of the paintings have Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background.

Aren't they gorgeous!?  The colors are so bright, and I love the way he paints the people.

We went to another place that sold wood carvings.  Although I like a lot of the stuff here, it was more expensive, and not going to fit in my suitcase!  Look at that awesome door in the middle!

One restaurant we went to had a gift shop, with piles of beautiful fabric.
 There were also more wood carvings.
 And more!

These are woven baskets, and the musical instruments are a traditional Ugandan instrument called an Adungu.  I brought one home!  Arched harp-type instruments are common in this part of Africa.  Another one you may have heard of is called the Kora.

Marshall got a call from one of his friends to tell him the monkeys were at the Contractor House, and we should hurry over so we could feed them.  By the time we got there, this is what it looked like:

These are not tame monkeys.  They are wild animals who live nearby, who have realized that the humans living here will feed them until their bellies are full, so they keep coming back for more.  But you have to be careful.  A few of them seemed quite hostile!
 This was as close as I've ever been to a monkey, and a little too close for my comfort!  They were fed bananas, mangoes, cookies, and crackers.  They definitely had preferences of what they liked most!

You have to keep the doors and windows shut, or they come in and raid your house!

So amazing.

 As soon as the monkeys thought the food was running out (or they got bored with the selection) they headed back the way they came- over the top of this neighboring hotel.  You can see the giant water barrel, with a hose hanging down.  They slide down that metal pipe like it's so easy!

The monkeys were definitely a cool experience, and one I'm glad I got the chance to have.

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