Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Well, today we went to the Market to see the food buying process for the kid’s former orphanage. They feed 65 kids and that many staff too- 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. It takes a lot of food. But they’ve got the system down to a science. Today we got to observe the purchasing and gathering portion of it.

Uncle William- the house manager took us around on his usual route today. Every Monday and Friday he does the exact same thing. Here’s the Monday plan of attack:

  1. Stop for bread. In this case, it was not there yet, so they pay for it, and then it is delivered to the van later that day.
  2. Stop for sugar, salt, and oil. It takes 50 kilos of sugar and 4 liters of oil a week to cook the food and to keep the food tasting the way it is intended.
  3. Go into the market and walk through a maze of food booths and pay for various items from various people. He goes to the very same people every week. He pays for the very same thing from the very same people and then somehow pays a man to go and get it all and bring it back. I never did see that particular exchange happen, it was crazy how it just sorta happened. We just paid and then walked away without a thing in our hands. I asked William, “how do you know you’ll get all the right stuff you just bought and are now expecting to supernaturally arrive at your van?” He said, “It is all on trust.” Some of them might not have another customer all week. They know I am faithfully here every Monday and every Friday and therefore, they do not want to lose my business. I never get cheated.
  4. Wander out of the maze and wait for the van to get loaded up by some guy who magically appears from seemingly no where.
  5. Get back in the van and go to another market location for a few other fruits and vegetables.
  6. Go to the super market for what we could not find in the market. (ie, pesticides and such).
  7. Go to the orphanage and unload it all.

Here’s a few pictures of the process as we experienced it…

This is the woman they buy some grains and beans from.

She measures out the amount the old fashioned way- with a scale and lead weights. She did show him the total on a solar powered calculator though.

We bought cabbage from this man.

Carrots, papayas, and tomatoes from this man. He already had it bagged up and waiting for us.

Bananas and matoke came from this woman. There are 2 kinds of bananas in Uganda. The long ones which we are used to in the states, and some shorter and sweeter ones which I have never had in the U.S. These ones are the short ones (about 4 inches long each). We found some sets that were so fat and happy they were busting the peels open. These bananas were so dang good and sweet that we bought 2 large extra bundles just to eat ourselves. Oh boy were they good. I so wished I had a blender to mix them up with some pineapple and maybe some coconut milk. Dang that woulda tasted awesome.

Matoke being loaded into the van. It looks like green bananas and tastes a little like potatoes. It is a staple in Uganda and can be seen traveling on almost every road and by the semi full on the highways.

Jim and the head cook, Godfrey, helping to unload the loot at the orphanage.

Fun day. I learned a lot about how Uganda works and how the orphanage operates today. So fun to be a part of the process. There’s a few more pics of the kids and such at the market on facebook.

Next post: a cooking lesson with Prossy, our guest house cook. I’ll do 3 posts actually, one for each recipe/dish we made tonight: cabbage, beans, and chapati. Such a cool day.


  1. must update blog. your followers are chomping at the bit. =)

Leave a Reply