After a short downpour one morning, we have to get out to the store and had lots of fun driving there! A combination of poor infrastructure and ineffective sewage systems leads to flooded roads and potholes everywhere! Who knows what would happen if a monsoon hit! Just another thing you gotta get used to here in the big city of 21 million!😁
If you want to buy almost anything -you can most likely find it here, at the Balagong market. It is busy and loud and would be simple to get lost from the people you came with if you’re not careful!
We came for Nigerian fabric and the we saw so many to choose from! The honest truth is—the only way we could finally choose a fabric to buy was because we were so hot and sweaty and uncomfortable with the interesting smells that we just picked anything, purchased, and started the walk through the maze to get back to our car.
This was a whole different kind of shopping!
Field Trip fun! We decided to go explore one of the main markets in our area. The first thing we saw as we parked were rows of fruit and veggies, and LOTS of yams! The market has one main road which you can see in the pictures. It is crowded and difficult to navigate. We were holding tight to our younger children so they did not get lost. Even one glance away and you could lose sight of the people you are with due to shoving and crowding and people shouting at you to buy their goods. We were focusing on buying Nigerian fabric so we didn’t stop until we got to that section of the markets. There was plenty else around to distract us, included fresh plastic containers of raw and bloody meat, deodorant, jewelry, shoes and all kinds of sweet dough things being carried in boxes on vendors heads. We finally arrived to the shop through a tiny unlit alleyway and we could not all be looking at the fabric together. There was room for about – 1-2 people at most…and definitely forget it if you don’t like anyone in your “space” because that just isn’t happening. We took turns looking and then continued to shop around at a few more cubicles where we had to be single file and you could mostly stand, and just turn around in your spot to shop.
What our pictures can NOT show is how hot it was, how we were sweating, and how the smells from all the people, the wares, the meats, foods, the vegetables and very large garbage dumpster practically sitting in the very middle section of the market, all meshed and mixed together to make us decide that we had had enough for one day and let’s get in our air conditioned car that has the air freshener hanging off the rearview mirror!
As we made our way back to car we continued to see many curious sites and sounds. The metal bowl of big, round fresh kidneys, a little boy with a huge bandage on a very large growth off his neck and someone with him trying to collect money, and young toddlers and children sitting on dirty shop floors where their families were doing their trade.
Most likely we will not rush back to this market. Once again, we were reminded of a simple appreciation of what so many people take for granted – clean, air conditioned shops that carry all the necessities, with big parking lots and shopping carts to carry all you need. And while the market actually seemed to be a “one stop shop” we fondly were thinking of the states and Walmart. Somehow we don’t necessarily crave all that “atmosphere and personality” all the time to get the shopping done! 🙂
A very cloudy day during the rainy season. The fishermen are out in their boats regardless of the rain. For some reason we still love to see the boats and watch the fishing, no matter how many times we have seen it before. It has to be done everyday, to survive and make a living.
Around the corner from our house on the side of the road, a lady named Patience sells handmade pots and Linus the gardener sells plants. In the video, Linus helps get our plants into the pots we just bought. And that is the extent of his job! Everyday as we drive by, both vendors sit there waiting or selling plants/pots to passers by. But there are also hundreds of other vendors who do the same thing – selling lemons in wheelbarrows, or loaves of bread on their head. Also caught in the video is a lady carrying her baby on her back, and the goods she is selling on her head. In many ways thes people live simple lifestyles. Linus, our neighborhood gardener helped us get three new plants to put up onto our balcony with new handmade pots – all for the equivalent of 30 dollars!
Church, a restful place, worshiping is optional😂 When teaching Primary, all the kids just lied down onto the mat and fell asleep!
The Cane Village, the place where anyone can get easily obsessed with any kind of basket. Under the highway In Lagos, this little market/village, is where people make and sell baskets for anyone who wants to buy.
When we got to the Cane Village, we entered in and a few pieces of beautiful art were stacked up for people to buy. We saw paintings of warrior princesses, African women, and African men. We then walked by and entered a world of baskets! There were so many, more than anybody could count! We immediately went from side to side examining the baskets and watching how they were made. The workers were weaving the baskets, and chopping up the cane wood. They would take their frame, made of the cane wood, and then weave the slivers of wood thought the frame, making a beautiful basket.
There were many deliveries being made back and forth. Our guide told us that most of the baskets were being brought to weddings or stores. Trucks would always pass by through the rugged road. Through all this chaos, there were many children, and chickens:) The Children played with whatever they could find, and seemed as if they had the time of their lives! We spent the morning shopping, and left with many baskets!