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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Only in Nigeria

Yesterday, I was planning to go out to the beach school near the beach hut owned by the company Guy works for. I am joining a foundation which assists the beach school at Ishayi Beach. Some other members of the foundation and myself were going to take a computer and some school supplies to start the year out to the head teacher of the school. We waited for the boat to come to pick us up. The boat was supposed to be ready for us at 9 a.m. and didn't show up until about 10:15 a.m. When we boarded the boat, the captain had already picked up two other members of the foundation from across the harbor on Ikoyi island. We were all talking in the boat while it was speeding along ( for about 4 minutes) and then, all of the sudden, the engine shut off and started making a beeping sound. Samson, the captain, said "Don't worry, I can fix." So, we all just kept talking. Afterall, we are in Nigeria and things break all the time. After about 30 minutes of Samson trying to "fix" the motor ( he really wasn't doing anything to fix it), he started to wave down a water taxi that was coming our direction in the harbor. So, in true Nigerian fashion, the men from the water taxi threw over a slimy old rope and Samson tied it to our boat and the water taxi towed us to a dock on Ikoyi island (mind you we starrted at a different dock on Victoria Island). So, the water taxi pulled us in and we literally crashed into the dock. Our boat knocked the end of the dock off! Thankfully everyone was ok, and our boat wasn't damaged too badly. The next thing we heard Samson say was ," I will put gas in the engine." We all looked at each other, and we started to get really irritated. We couldn't believe that he had taken us out in the water without gas in the engine. I was wondering where in the world the gas was going to come from. I didn't ponder that thought very long because I could smell it. I turned my head and there was a man rolling a leaking drum of gasoline down to the end of the dock. I should have known this wasn't going to be a typical process. Immediately, we all got off the boat for fear we may blow up while they were refueling the boat. As we were waiting, the two men literally lifted up the drum to put the gas in the engine. We saw that another man ran to get another drum of gas. The engine was so empty, that it was taking two drums of gasoline to fill the tank! Finally, it seemed that the gas tank was full ( our clue was no other man was rolling a drum of gasoline down the dock). So, we kept waiting to hear the engine start. By 11:45 a.m. we realized that it was probably a lost cause. We called to see if we could use one of the other two boats owned my the company. It was no surprise that those boats were broken too. So, three boats...none of them working. Why would I expect anything less??? We all decided that we would try to get out to the beach school next week. We just felt bad for the head teacher and the students. We really wanted to get them their supplies. But, then I thought, I am sure the head teacher understands. Afterall, this is just a typical occurance for her. But for me, this whole scenario could only happen in Nigeria!:)

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