Quarterly Bazaar Gives Service Members a Taste of Africa

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Brown, 726th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron, shops as a vendor displays his wares during the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Shops as a Vendor Displays his Wares During the Quarterly Bazaar June 14, 2014

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Brown, 726th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron, shops as a vendor displays his wares during the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The vendors represented several countries in East Africa including Ethiopia and Madagascar selling $35,800 of goods that included carved animals, totems, masks, intricate handmade jewelry, coffee, rugs and clothes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Riley Johnson)

U.S. Army Capt. Bismarck Vergara, 407th Civil Affairs Battalion team leader, right, instructs vendors on how to conduct business with U.S. service members for the quarterly bazaar May 31, 2014, in Djibouti. 407th Civil Affairs Battalion Team Leader, Right, Instructs Vendors on How to Conduct Business with U.S. Service Members for the quarterly bazaar

U.S. Army Capt. Bismarck Vergara, 407th Civil Affairs Battalion team leader, right, instructs vendors on how to conduct business with U.S. service members for the quarterly bazaar May 31, 2014, in Djibouti. Before vendors could attend the bazaar, representatives from the 407th CA BN and Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti Navy Exchange gave them pointers on how to conduct business and instructed them on what they can and cannot sell. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Riley Johnson)

Vendors prepare their booths before the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Vendors Prepare their Booths Before the Quarterly Bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

Vendors prepare their booths before the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The vendors represented several countries in East Africa including Ethiopia and Madagascar selling $35,800 of goods that included carved animals, totems, masks, intricate handmade jewelry, coffee, rugs and clothes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Riley Johnson)

Camp Lemonnier members browse through merchandize at the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Camp Lemonnier Members Browse through Merchandize at the Quarterly Bazaar June 14, 2014

Camp Lemonnier members browse through merchandize at the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The vendors represented several countries in East Africa including Ethiopia and Madagascar selling $35,800 of goods that included carved animals, totems, masks, intricate handmade jewelry, coffee, rugs and clothes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Riley Johnson)

Camp Lemonnier service members look through masks during the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Camp Lemonnier Service Members Look through Masks During the Quarterly Bazaar June 14, 2014

Camp Lemonnier service members look through masks during the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The vendors represented several countries in East Africa including Ethiopia and Madagascar selling $35,800 of goods that included carved animals, totems, masks, intricate handmade jewelry, coffee, rugs and clothes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Riley Johnson)

A vendor gives a cup of coffee to a U.S. service member who is shopping at the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. A Vendor Gives a Cup of Coffee to a U.S. Service Member who is Shopping at the Quarterly Bazaar June 14, 2014

A vendor gives a cup of coffee to a U.S. service member who is shopping at the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The vendors represented several countries in East Africa including Ethiopia and Madagascar selling $35,800 of goods that included carved animals, totems, masks, intricate handmade jewelry, coffee, rugs and clothes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Riley Johnson)

A U.S. service member shops at the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. A U.S. Service Member Shops at the Quarterly Bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti

A U.S. service member shops at the quarterly bazaar June 14, 2014, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The vendors represented several countries in East Africa including Ethiopia and Madagascar selling $35,800 of goods that included carved animals, totems, masks, intricate handmade jewelry, coffee, rugs and clothes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Riley Johnson)

Shoppers turned out en masse to the quarterly bazaar hosted by Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ) Navy Exchange (NEX) and Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Bravo Company, 407th Civil Affairs Battalion (CA BN) June 14, at 11 Degrees North multi-purpose center on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

The 407th CA BN started planning and coordinating the bazaar nearly a month-and-a-half ago by finding possible vendors and preparing them for business with Americans.

To boost morale for those deployed here and to bring African culture to camp, the 407th CA BN worked with the local community to bring 12 vendors to sell their merchandise during the bazaar.

“We think it was a tremendous success,” said U.S. Army Capt. Bismarck Vergara, 407th CA BN civil affairs team leader. “Every single vendor came out happy and all of them were very thankful to us for inviting them to the event. They were already asking about the next bazaar and they were interested in attending.”

The vendors represented several countries in East Africa including Ethiopia and Madagascar selling $35,800 of goods that included carved animals, totems, masks, intricate handmade jewelry, coffee, rugs and clothes.

Vendors also had a chance to sell to a new audience, said Stephan La Monaco, CLDJ NEX manager, and provided service members with a taste of local culture.

Before venders could attend the bazaar, representatives from the 407th CA BN and CLDJ NEX gave them pointers on how to conduct business with U.S. service members and instructed them on what they can and cannot sell.

 One of the rules was that all items sold had to fit the requirements to be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service.

Aside from the vendors, a group of traditional Afar dancers performed several dances for those in attendance.

The 407th CA BN also invited local Djiboutian women’s associations Vergara said, like the Women’s center from the Local Initiatives for Education and women’s center from the Arta Catholic Relief.

“These two centers teach women skills like embroidery and jewelry making, among others, and their profits went directly back to the community or cause their nongovernmental organization (NGO) association supports.”

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407th Civil Affairs Battalion Quarterly Bazaar

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Shoppers turned out en masse to the quarterly bazaar hosted by Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ) Navy Exchange (NEX) and Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Bravo Company, 407th Civil Affairs Battalion (CA BN) June 14, at 11 Degrees North multi-purpose center on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

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