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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Shipment Came in!!!!

In true Nigerian fashion, we received a phone call on Tuesday night at 10:30 telling us our shipment was here. We waited a little bit after the phone call to make sure that they were not going to unpack that night. ( Some people who live here have had their shipment unpacked at 10 p.m.) Security let us know that the unpackers were not here that night, but they would be here early in the morning. So, the three drivers ( yes, three...not sure why they needed that many. I asked Happiness why there were three drivers, and she told me that two of them were drivers and one was the "conductor"and she didn't know what the "conductor" did. I don't think she even knew why there were three) had to sleep with the shipment that night. Happiness told me that she has seen drivers sleep under the shipment truck. We were a little worried about our shipment because the container had been crushed. Not sure how that happened since it is a metal container...but now my saying is "That's Nigeria!" Usually a shipment can sit in customs for a few months. Then, when you get it, a lot of things are missing. The customs people will take things like a few rolls of toilet paper and other odd things like that....weird. The only good thing about it being damaged was that it was pushed through customs really quickly. So, at 7 a.m. Wednesday morning we got the call that they were going to start unpacking. Guy went downstairs to see the container. When he got off the elevator, he heard this really loud banging sound coming from outside. He saw the unpackers slamming the lock on the container with a huge metal stick. He asked them what they were doing. and one of them said,"Sir, we are opening your container." Guy asked him the next logical question,"Can't you use the key??". So, he got the logical Nigerian answer,"Oh sir, we do not have the key. We have thrown it in the sea for security reasons." What????!!!! You may ask. Apparently Nigerians don't even trust each other. Happiness also told me the same story. We learned the standard protocol is to beat the @#&% out of the lock until it breaks open. At least the container wasn't as badly damaged as we were told it was. It even looked better than the pictures that were e-mailed to us. The unpackers started to bring up our things. Fatai was in the apartment to watch the unpackers and show them where to go. I stayed with the kids and made sure they weren't in the way. Guy was checking off our moving list as they brought in the boxes. They had no dollies or carts to carry the boxes...only their muscle power. They would bring in a box and leave it right inside the door and then leave for more. Poor Fatai was grabbing boxes and putting them into the correct rooms. Not sure that is what he thought he would be doing that day. Guy told the movers they needed to slow down and put the boxes in the correct rooms. They were a little annoyed with that idea, but they did comply. Afterall, they are movers and not just delivery men.:) Most of the boxes seemed to be in pretty good shape. Happiness came and helped me with the kids and started unpacking the kitchen. She was telling me where she was putting things and I told her, "Let's face it. You are going to be in this kitchen a whole lot more than I am going to be. Put everything where you think it should go and then tell me where it is." So, for the rest of the day, she was in the kitchen unpacking and washing everything. Bless her heart, she worked through lunch and even stayed overtime. Meanwhile, I was busy trying to find Jeremy's bed buried under all those boxes. We brought so many toys that I realize now, we didn't even need. The kids survived for 2 and a half months without them and never once seemed to miss them. On the bright side, it was like Christmas for the kids. Needless to say, we were all exhausted yesterday. I was up until 1 a.m. last night unpacking. The only thing I kept thinking to myself as I was unpacking boxes was, "Wow. I really am here. My things are here. I really live in Nigeria."

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