In Malawi, as in most of Africa, markets are everywhere.
Along the major roads. On corners where roads intersect.
In the center of the city in open spaces,
along the walkways and outside shops.
There are markets that sell just about everything, from vegetables, fish, live chickens to clothes, crafts and fabrics. Take a picture walk with me through some of the markets I’ve encountered here in Lilongwe.
Of course there are no prices on items in the markets. You are free to bargain and pay what an item is worth to you. Bargaining is an important part of the human interaction within the community. The longer you live in a place the more you know the prices and the differentiations between tourist price, ex-pat price and Malawian price. There is also the “friend” price, where you are not sure how much you are being taken advantage of but then the seller throws in something extra to show generosity and favor (or because they feel a little guilty for having abused the relationship). This happens mostly at the vegetable market where they see me often and want my return business.
There is a lot of beauty and wonder in these markets, in the way people “do life” and make a living and in the way they interact, honor and care for each other. I am thankful for the positive experiences I’ve had in the markets, I know that is not true for everyone. But for me, it has raised my estimation of my fellow man, encouraging me to see more of our Creator’s image in others, in their diversity, uniqueness and creative adaptability.
I write this post as we leave Malawi and move toward the next thing God has for us. If you did not get the post for the party we gave before leaving Malawi, please go to beautyandwonder.wordpress.com to read and see picture about it. When I posted that particular one it did not come up on my automatic list so check it out on the site. Thanks for reading about our experiences in Malawi. We will keep you posted as to the future God is taking us to.