Where’s the Tuna Fish?

Where’s the Tuna Fish? You have relocated to a small town…so small, there is only one grocery store and it’s not PUBLIX. You can survive the moving and unpacking for a day or so on bread, milk, peanut butter, jelly, and brown eggs. Oh, there’s a jar of mayonnaise. Why not buy a can of tuna fish to add to the onion and tomatoes from the open air market? That would add some protein to simple sandwiches. But where is it? The store employee directs you to the canned food isle with every variety of canned beans known to mankind. There’s the fish.

Only, a closer look reveals the shelves are stocked with canned sardines, not tuna fish! What, no tuna fish? You’ve got to be kidding.SardinesUnlike Livingstone with Victoria Falls and international tourists, Choma is definitely an African town. Other items I deemed essential, but not available are: shampoo, mustard, ground/whole bean coffee, Cling Wrap, foil, wax paper, napkins, tomato sauce, corn starch, fresh herbs, (and lettuce depending on the imports from S. Africa).

Our biggest discovery was the heavily chlorinated tap water…like drinking from a swimming pool. The store sells 12 plastic Coke-bottle sized spring waters in a pack, but it goes fast for all our drinking and cooking needs. We brought our large bush jerry-cans filled with clean well water from Overland Mission’s base, and look forward to finding the closest hand-pump well in Siachitema chiefdom for refills.

Today, though, I am being blessed by a local pastor’s wife named Edith. She is teaching me how to bargain in the market for fresh vegetables and fruit: tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bananas, oranges, apples, potatoes, yams, kale, cabbage, and fresh green beans. It’s a vegetarian’s delight.

Guess I don’t NEED the tuna fish, but I will stock up on our next trip to Livingstone…3 hours away on a good 2-laned tar highway!


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