Friday, June 05, 2015

To Market in Kigali - A Place of Color, Texture and Treasures

During our time in Kigali (capital of Rwanda), we had the fun experience of visiting a local market. I didn't catch the name of it, but it's a place where locals shop (not just for tourists). As markets go, this was pretty tame. The folks were eager to sell to you, but they didn't hassle or touch. A "no thank you" and a smile allowed us passage through.

Many treasures to be found here, from handmade baskets, wood carvings, clothing and shoes, fruits and vegetables, and the highlight for me: fabrics! I could have spent hours looking at all the bold and beautiful patterns. You can even have an item custom-sewn on the spot (on a treadle machine, perfect for these conditions because it doesn't require electricity). I'm thinking of my grandmother and how she would have loved these fabrics and being with these women.

As much as I would have loved to bring home a suitcase full, I limited myself to these two choices.

Baskets and other beautiful woven crafts are other treasures to be found.

These photos are a little dark because the hallways are narrow (barely room for one to pass), with goods overflowing on each side. It would easy to spend hours - or days - wandering through.

Negotiations on price are the norm. Though I managed to bargain a little (not my strength), I'm certain I still paid tourist prices for things, and I was content to do so. 

One of my most precious souvenirs, packed in my  heart, is the colorful experience of meeting people who have very little and who are very happy. 


Marilyn Miller said...

The colors just touch my heart. It would have been difficult to say no for sure. Love the fabrics you chose and so happy you brought some home.

Tea fan said...

Oh yes! Such beauty.

Nora @ Teacup Tales said...

The colors and patterns of the fabrics are simply stunning. How wonderful there is a seamstress on site. I also have trouble bargaining when I travel.

Margie said...

Your fabrics are beautiful and the perfect souvenir of your time in Rwanda.

I'm also a terrible at haggling with vendors.

Rosemary said...

Such a colorful experience!