Mission Trip to Nigeria - Post 2

I decided to title my posts by the number instead of the day because I didn't actually journal each day of the trip. I dated my entries the day I actually wrote them. Hope that makes sense.

Friday, March 28, 6:00 pm
I am in my hotel room (see pictures below). Not bad, not bad, better than I imagined. I am awaiting my suit case to arrive so I can take a shower! We arrived approximately 9 am Nigeria time in Lagos. The airport is not air-conditioned at all! We were not allowed to take pictures there or I would have. Third world airport for sure! First we had to collect all our luggage - which includes 20 or so boxes of toys and gifts we brought for the kids in the orphanage. That took us quite a while in the airport - we had to fill out an "arrival card" and have it, along with our passports, inspected by men in military uniform. They were very different, even scary. There were people all over asking to help with our luggage but they do that for money, so we had to say "no, no, I can get it." We finally made it out of the inside of the airport and out into the outdoors - where there was at least somewhat of a breeze. It was already 84 degrees F at 10 am-ish. And humid! Nigeria is very tropical with lots of palm trees, banana and coconut trees. There are no beaches though - not like in America or the tropics.

Lagos is HUGE!!! It took us about an hour and 1/2 to drive from the airport to the orphanage! There are people everywhere in the streets, on the streets, selling everything from water to house doors and furniture. Nice leather furniture, too. We saw goats right on the street side - not one or two goats, but a herd. People here dress American and African. And I can see why the ladies wear skirts! Sara and I have on capri's and we are so sweaty!
My first sight of Lagos taken from the airplane as we were landing.

Not a typical church in Nigeria, but one of the first I saw.
One of the first unusual buildings I saw. This is a garden center for weddings and such. Very beautiful, full of all kinds of flowering bushes and trees.

There are churches everywhere! Not your typical American churches, but buildings that look like houses, with signs up indicating they are a church. A christian church. There are many, many Christians here and is so indicated on the business signs and cars. Many of the taxi cabs also have Christian signage on them, or Muslim.
We passed by a body of water as we were nearing "downtown" part of Lagos. There are many houses built - floating on the water. We were told they are the fisherman's homes and you could see the boats nearby. Interesting.
We arrived at the orphanage and were warmly welcomed by Deborah (pronounced De-BOR-ah) not like the American way. She owns and runs the orphanage and I have no idea how many kids were there! From all ages - tiny babies up to the early 20's. She trains up the kids to help with the young kids. So the kids in their teens and early 20's help out and go to University as well. They are true servants. If Deborah said to do something, they did it, and gladly! Awesome to see. The teens and young adults also take care of the babies. We saw about 4 tiny babies and I wanted to bring them home!!!
We brought gift bags for each of the kids (except the newest arrivals that we didn't have names or info for). Sara and I and Denny organized and handed out the gift bags one by one. We took a picture of Denny with each child as they received their gifts. Brought tears to my eyes!
When we were done, Sara and I got to play with the kids. All the kids are so sweet, some well educated and can speak English real well, and others not so well. But, they all loved us and LOVED having their pictures taken. Sara and I tried to teach them duck-duck-goose, but that was a little difficult. Then we taught them the "fast hand slapping game". They all wanted to play that!
Then it was time for our first Nigerian meal!!! We had some smashed wheat, as Deborah described it. It is actually cassava. It looks like really thick malt-o-meal or cream of wheat. With it, we had some sort of soup, only it wasn't real soupy - more like saucy. It was very spicy and had meat, probably goat, in it. It also had something that looked like cooked spinach in it, mixed with couscous. I don't think that's what it was. It was very spicy - not like Mexican spice that stays with you and grows spicier with each bite. It was spicy after a couple of bites, then the spiciness went away. I have to say, that if I took a little of the smashed wheat with a little of the soup at the same time I could eat the soup - but not alone. The texture was too weird for me. The goat meat was very fatty and chewy so I only ate one bite. Deborah put so much on our plates! There was no way we could eat it all. She also made some chicken that was really good, once you got passed the little bit of hair still on it! For desert, we had fresh pineapple! It was really good - no preservatives or pesticides - straight off the tree! They add evaporated milk to it and eat it, like cereal. So, we tried it - not bad! It was different, but actually tasted okay.
After some pictures with Deborah and loading up the boxes, we left. (I don't have those pictures on my camera, but I am expecting a CD of all the pictures combined and will post more as I get them). It took about 2 1/2 hours to get from the orphanage to the hotel and I slept most of the way. Sara and Luke went in the other car and we think they went to the church meeting where James, Clarke, John and Zach went, while we stayed at the orphanage. My suitcase is in their car so I can't shower or anything!!! So, I'm sitting here on the bed journaling. Sara and I get to share a queen size bed. It feels pretty comfy so far. We brought our own sheets and pillowcases. The TV is on - yes they have TV and even cell phones here. They get 3 or 4 channels. One is MTV base(?), sports, CNN and whatever I'm watching now - looks like a soap opera. I think it's in Spanish - dubbed in English; it's called Esmeralda. Weird! I feel like taking another nap now, but I'm afraid to lay on the covers!
The bucket in the tub is used for bathing. I guess they fill it up with water and use that to wash off with, but Sara and I did not use it. We used the shower nozzle, like in America. I didn't take a picture of it, but there was mold all over the ceiling because the shower in the room above us leaks. We only experienced one leakage, though, during our visit. (Thank goodness!!!)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous21:25

    Mary, I am so glad you journal. It is most interesting!! Pictures are great too!!


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