Wobulenzi Market

Vanessa, Ali and I played Ludo to pass the time. Here, Martha (to the right of Vanessa) gets her nails done, and one of the locals explains the rules of the game.

Vanessa, the other volunteer that lives in the house with me, will be finishing up her  placement with Shanti this coming Friday. She’s going to do some travelling around Uganda for a few weeks, and will be flying back to Canada in December.  Before that happens, she’s been busy finishing up projects and ticking items off her to do lists.  One thing that she’d been hoping to do for a while was to go to the market in Wobulenzi, a town not too far from Kasana.  Martha, one of the midwives at the centre, goes every Friday to have her toenails painted, and had encouraged us to come check it out with her sometime.  So on Friday Ali, Vanessa and I took a matatu to Wobulenzi with Martha, who led us to the tucked away spot where the nail people set up.  By the time we’d arrived there was already quite a lineup, so we sat down and made ourselves comfortable.  After leaving briefly to grab a market lunch, and playing a game of Ludo (the Ugandan equivalent of Sorry that Ali bought from a young vendor walking by), it was time for our pedicures.

Group shot of the pedicures.

Ali had never had her toenails painted, and I can pretty much count on one hand the number of times mine have had polish on them – together, we weren’t exactly the typical customer. Most of the women appeared to be regulars, who come each week to have a new design put on their hands or feet.  Some five or so hours after we’d boarded the matatu from Kasana, Ali, Vanessa and I left the market with green, red and purple toes, respectively.  The guys who did them took some artistic liberties, so while we each picked our main shade, they added designs and sparkles in whatever other colours they saw fit.  Considering the whole thing cost only 1500 UGS (about 60 cents Canadian), we were perfectly willing to let them do whatever they’d like.  It was a fun afternoon, and we had a good time talking and joking with the Ugandan women who were also waiting in line.  Of course, as is my way, in the two days since we had pedicures done, I’ve managed to chip them, get paint on one, and smudge the gold detailing. Some things never change…