On Saturday, we decided to have Fatai take us out to Lekki Market. Lekki is an outdoor market where many artists display their work such as woodwork, fabrics, baskets, paintings, etc. When we first arrived, several young boys wanted us to "hire" them to follow us and carry our purchases from the market to our car. We decided to have a boy named Ola walk with us. He looked very young and I asked him how old he was. He told us he was 14 years old. I am sure he wasn't any older than 10 or at the most 11 years old. We asked him when his birthday was and he said 1995. We were not sure if he has been coached to say that or if that really is the year he was born. He didn't know what month and day his birthday was, though. Ola loved Jeremy and Elizabeth, and he kept touching Jeremy's arm. He walked with us and showed us where the baskets were. Since I have been in Nigeria for a few weeks now, I can see how the Nigerian women carry their babies on their backs. I decided that really made sense. I had Elizabeth in my sling from my dear friend, Emmy, and I decided to push it around to my back and carry her on my back. She loved it and all the people in the market would smile and look at me. One of them said, "African style!" That was really funny. They were probably wondering what this oyibo was doing carrying a baby on my back...but it was actually quite comfortable.
Ola took us to a stall where there was a man selling big baskets. We needed two baskets for laundry hampers. Thank goodness Guy is good at bargaining because I am not. He said his price and held firm to it until the man conceded and we got the baskets for the price we wanted. While one of the men was putting handles on the baskets we were buying, I noticed an artist who was carving animals into a small wooden table. Many of you know I rarely leave home without my camera. I asked the man if I could take his picture. I did, and I may as well have said that this was my first time to the market. So many boys and artists came up to me asking me if it was my first time here. They started to ask me to buy their things. I could see in their eyes that they wanted me to spend too much on whatever they were selling. When an oyibo comes to the market, Happiness told me they will try to get you to pay a much higher price than a Nigerian. So, I guess the lesson learned here is don't bring your camera to the market...or at least if you do...don't use it.:)