Well I went shopping with Ashlyn this morning at the supermarkets in town. I was walking through one of the stores to buy meat (it has the cheapest meat by far) when suddenly I felt someone pulling on my bilum (my bag with my keys and purse in it). I immediately pulled my bilum close and began to turn away, when I heard my name. It was one of the ladies from Biwat. But in that moment, my heart raced a hundred mile an hour and it brought home to me that, although when I go out and about I am not fearful, I nevertheless am obviously somewhat tense and always “looking over my shoulder”.
And then after we both had a good laugh… I had to proceed through the rest of the store with this lady by me. Now, don’t think for a moment that her company bothered me as such – she is a lovely lady, and I love her company. But, already at this point my shopping trolley had about K60 (approx $28 AUD) worth of food in it, which included a bit of meat (I stock up for the week or so and put it in the freezer so I don’t need to go out to the stores too often). Then of course she wanted to be really helpful and even went through the check-out with me and helped me carry my few bags to the car before she went back into the store. To know that the lady walking next to you eats meat only once in a while, and to know that she would never consider buying as much as I bought in one go, and to realise that she rarely would even hold K60 in her hand…made me feel very self-conscious while I was shopping (and I didn’t even purchase any more after I met her). It also makes me so thankful over and over again for the many rich blessings God has given us. The constant tension between riches and poverty in this country is ever on our minds and in our thoughts!