New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie

New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie

The Store

Posted: 10 Apr 2020 03:25 PM PDT

It’s go time, people! 
When living abroad as a foreign missionary, it’s perfectly acceptable to consider grocery shopping your accomplishment for the day. During a pandemic…I’ve got to be covered productivity-wise for at least a week. Yesterday, I braved my first store run since we began sheltering in place more than three weeks ago. (Yes, the mask was mandatory, and yes, that’s a CPH VBS buff, as is my headband.) I could have gone a bit longer, but I was down to considering a bowl of chili a serving of vegetables, which is probably actually true; it has bell pepper, corn, and butternut squash in it!
I went to Nacional, where I normally do my shopping. Evidently I wasn’t the only one who had the idea to get there early, shortly after senior hour (7-8 am) ended. The entrance is on the far left of the  photo below. The line extends the length of the facade and then off to the right outside the frame…

…and down the stairs.

It moved steadily, 4-5 people at a time, plus I was in the shade once I got up the stairs and had my Kindle. 

When I got to the front after about 45 min., employees were sanitizing carts (a measure which was already in place last time I was there) and taking temperatures with an instant-read laser thermometer.

Shopping itself didn’t take much longer than normal. Things on my list (or friends’ lists…I was shopping for three) that I couldn’t find: salsa verde, cream of __________ soup, rolled oats, and blue Powerade. So…not the end of the world.

There were tape marks on the floor to ensure proper social distancing while waiting to chek out. Dedicating staff to the protective measures outlined above, as well as to keeping the store itself clean and shelves stocked, meant long lines and no baggers. I’m not complaining, though. These essential workers are among those I’m thanking God for regularly these days. I was a teeny bit irked by the gentleman in front of me, though; he left his cart numerous times to go in search of something, always returning just when I would have been able to sneak around him.

By the time I had dropped off my friends’ groceries and sanitized my own before putting them away, it was about a three hour affair. While the reality of this was on par with my expectations, I’m already plotting what I’d do differently next time, which had better be at least two weeks from now, maybe three. Praying I stay healthy until whenever that is!
Until next time, blessings!