The way we "hunt" and "gather" is a bit different than in the states but still very much the same. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be purchased from local farmers at market. This would usually require negotiating prices particularly because we are "blan." Blan is the Creole word for white but it is used for all foreigners. Thankfully our missions sees that our time and negotiating skills are better used working on the mission so someone does our shopping for us. We simply turn in a shopping list for market of what fresh fruits and veggies we want. If it is available in the garden on the mission, we get it from there, if not, they get it for us and keep a running bill of what we owe. I appreciate the onions, peppers, and eggs magically showing up! They are fresh with the dirt still on them and looking less than perfect in size but yummy in taste.
This is the fancy grocery store. There is another in the area, a town over or so, by another name. Much like any grocery store huh.
This is My Dear after our shopping trip. It took awhile to get through the store just because it was so "blan" so that is probably not how one should use that word in a sentence but it works for me and I am the author of this blog and the editor too! (saying the shopping was "foreign.") Please note this store is used by the upper class.
We had to calculate the currency in our heads to have an idea of how much the items cost. What did we need? What meals did we plan to have? What was utmost importance? What did we need to get right now? What did we need to get at this store? What is even available?
Trey walked patiently through the store with us and would help us if he knew we could get some items cheaper through other resources. Comparing prices was a bit harder too with the metric conversations....I should have paid more attention when I worked on those with the kids. They do better at them than I do.
After we totaled out our ticket, My Dear had to go to the service desk type area to get the currency exchanged and I waited at the counter with the food. Our shopping trip seemed like very little and with a big price tag. We did purchase some meat but at Aldi, it would have been less than half of the amount.
The currency here is gourdes. The rate of currency exchange is 45.2 per dollar. So, looking at the receipt below, GRANDS biscuits are 190 so divide by 45.2 and you will see that we paid a bit over $4 for a can of biscuits. Most items were name brands just because generic was not available. I am an Aldi shopper so the kids are probably thinking we are buying off brand items now!!!
I think you can read the receipt of items, they are probably pretty familiar with most of them. Have fun with the math.
We were able to get coco mix for Billy. They actually had pre-made cookie dough by Toll House on sell. My Dear used to make those types of cookies every Friday night for our Life Group with Miss B. (and Keri's boys who had never seen pre-made dough before cause their mama is a real pioneer from scratch cook) so those of you reading this will probably get a chuckle out of that and how we teased him over his "homemade cookies." Miss B. was thrilled to be able to "make cookies" with daddy.
For those of you who know our Dolly, she is quit particular when it comes to her pup. She wants only a specific kind of food. It is not the cheapest in the states either. They had the name brand but not in the small dog formula so we did our best and knew this was an area that we could not waver. Like any mama, she needed to know that her baby has what he needs. We purchased the smallest bag of food for our pound puppy for about $30. The item on the receipt for 396.90 was a couple of chicken breast. Bet you can pick out the Creole word for chicken!
My Dear had an overnight trip to the states to deliver a team of students and pick up another team last night. This was especially cool because he was able to fly out with the team from "our church." I think he only slept a few hours while he was there because he took empty suitcases to load up on some items....including a vacuum cleaner! He is the packing king! He grabbed more granola bars even though our sweet, little friend Jace (who you have read about with his lemonade stand) sent us some via the team this week. Those yummy bars were $7 for 6 bars locally....just couldn't do it! But NOW, we are well stocked! Chester got a giant bag of food as well.
We are learning more and more resources to take care of our family and cheaper. Since we are so close to the states, there are resources that many other missionaries do not have in the area of shipping items. Appreciate that God continues to meet ALL of our needs even with treats! The street vendor prepares a pate that Billy loves! Guess that is another post!