Today I went to town to take care of a few things, including buying a few simple groceries for the week.
Before leaving the market, I made one final stop: the little shop where I always buy eggs.
Buying eggs in Uganda is not like buying eggs in America. They do not come in specially designed cardboard or styrofoam cartons to protect the fragile items. They are simple placed in a thin, clear bag (think of bags you put produce in), twisted tightly, then tied shut.
I carefully placed my bag of six eggs on top of the sugar in a different bag that I’d purchased from another shop in the market.
I am usually so careful when I buy eggs. In fact, for months I refused to buy eggs because I was afraid of breaking them on the short, five minute ride home.
Well, today I walked out of the market and kind of forgot I bought them. I placed my three grocery bags inside one nylon bag I’d brought to town. Then I walked a couple blocks to wait for a friend who was meeting me. We walked around town to go to a woodworking shop and have a shelf made for me. Following the Ugandan way, when he saw I had a bag, he offered to carry it for me. By this point I had completely forgotten eggs were inside, so of course I didn’t warn him of the fragile cargo.
When we reached the shop, the bag was set down, at one point I had it again, then when we left he carried it. Eventually we went to his car, back in the center of town. He placed my grocery bag of miscellaneous items in the back seat, and he brought me to work, where I had an appointment.
At ABIDE the bag was on my shoulder for what now seems like ages, as I walked around different places. At one point it was carelessly put down for awhile. At last I headed home…over two hours since the eggs were purchased.
As I was walking home, I remembered the breakables packed in my bag, and remembered all the possible times and ways they could have been crushed.
Once I finally reached my house, I put everything down, ready to inspect. It was clear that some damage had been done, as I expected. I carefully took the eggs out, one at a time, rinsing them in the sink.
Only one was lost. Ironically, I had almost bought only five to begin with.
I lost about 13 cents worth of egg.