Victoria Market in Durban, South Africa is a crowded hodgepodge of small stores selling amazing, locally crafted African art, clothing, souvenirs and spices. So many merchants in one place keeps the prices low compared to a stand-alone souvenir store. As we strolled the tiny aisles, I could feel merchants undressing me with their eyes and zeroing in on the wad of South African Rands stuffed in my pocket.
I was instantly profiled by these wizened sales people who quickly determined that I was a member of that highly desirable species, Doofus Americanus. The hallmark of the Doofus Americanus is an inability to think of the pretty, colorful Rand as anything more than Monopoly money. I was engaged so quickly and thoroughly in conversations with the merchants I passed that I felt like the prettiest girl at the high school dance.
Luckily for all of us, Rochell was the one shopping under the careful guidance of Yvette Taylor, International Executive Director of The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization. As someone immersed in South African culture, Yvette helped Ro select better quality items for our Safari members and negotiate with the merchants. I wandered around taking pictures, a few of which are included below.