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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Where in the world Am I??

I realized today that it has been over a week since I have done a post on the blog. I didn't even have a lot of time past week to say that I was going to be out of Lagos all this week. I am in Michigan with the kids visiting my very strong, very brave grandmother in Michigan. Yes, I made the trans-Atlantic trip from Africa to Atlanta with a stop in Detroit and finally landing in Kalamazoo , Michigan with a four year old and an almost two year old all by myself!!!!:) It was the first time I made the trip with the kids all by myself straight through to the states. I have to say that I was a little nervous about travelling alone with both the kids the whole journey...but I was pleasantly surprised that both of them did really well. The bus ride to the air port last Friday was okay. Lizzy pulled Jeremy's hair a few times and then had to add a pinch in here and there...but nothing too bad. When we arrived at the airport, I never knew it could be so unbearably hot in one building! Of course, there is not a rhyme or reason to the way they have things set is always different. But, I did figure out what line I needed to be in. There was a line of people 6 deep I was standing in waiting for officials to rifle through our bags and see what we had all packed. I was standing there and just sweating...i had not been that least I can't remember being that hot...not event the weekend of small world.:) My shirt looked like I had gotten out of the shower and I looked at Lizzy and her hair was wet and standing up all over the place. Jeremy had trickles of sweat coming down his chin. I decided about 30 seconds into waiting in that line that I didn't care if the kids crawled all over the Lagos airport floor as long as they didn't start screaming and crying...I could get through this.( Afterall...isn't that why God invented sanitizing wipes??) I was thinking it was just me being one of the only oyibos in the airport that couldn't take the heat until I heard a Nigerian man say to the officials looking through the bags," Could you hurry this up...we are toasting in here!" Amen to that!!! Then, I knew it was HOT!!!! I am not kidding when I tell you it took about an hour just to have our bags checked...then, I had to go to the ticket this mascara was running down my face...not from crying...from sweating. I had never seen a ticket attendant move so slowly..but we did get our boarding passes. Next, we went through the security gate and had our carry ons x-rayed and went through the magnetometers. Jeremy is so good about taking off his shoes and putting his back pack up to get checked. Finally cleared through all of that. I realized I didn't bring the ham and cheese rolls I had Happiness make I went to one of the few restaurants in the Lagos airport and they had spaghetti. I was happy because I knew the kids would eat spaghetti. I ordered and the man told me " Sorry, no spaghetti sauce." I knew I wasn't getting them anything to eat there that night. I had granola bars and goldfish and that was our dinner. Since the security is such an issue, we arrrived at the airport early at about 5 :10 p.m. ...but our flight didn't leave until 10:30 p.m. so we had a lot of time to kill. The kids played with toys in their backpacks and Lizzy made friends with a lot of Nigerian ladies. We went to sit at our gate at about 8 p.m and at about 8:15 the lights all went we were sitting in darkness. Very typical in Nigeria. Jeremy was a little scared...but we sang some songs and after about 45 minutes and a few Nigerian airport workers yelling at each other...the lights came back on. At about 9:15 they made everyone get back in lines to recheck passports and boarding passes and then to go through our carry on luggage again and then to pat our bodies down...I also had to remove my shoes again!!! The kid and I went to get on the plane and the doors were literally chained shut. I was talking to another man there and asked him if he knew why they searched the bags since they had already been through the x-ray machine and why they do a body pat down again after we went through the magnetometer. I should have known the answer. He said that the magnetometers don't work at all and that the x-ray machines are not that good. But, he didn't have an answer as to why we couldn't get on the plane yet...I can explain it " That's Nigeria!" Anyway, we did get to board and then we were all settled in about 10:20 the pilot came on and said we were all ready to go...but the plane didn't have enough fuel..there was an automated refueling machine...but of you think it worked??? Not a chance in *&%$!!!! So, the only other logical thing to do was to shuttle the fuel in in trucks. So, the kids and I sat in the plane until 12:30 am. until the plane was fully fueled and we could take off. I will say that both the kids were very well behaved and slept most of the time...thank goodness!! However, I did miss my connection in Atlanta and had to take a later connection to Detroit and then finally to Kalamazoo where my sweet Aunt, Uncle and cousin were all waiting for us.:) It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good to see them! I felt pretty good after the flight which surprised me......and I was so happy the kids did so well.:)
Now, why am in Michigan? I brought my kids to see my grandma. She has battled ovarian cancer for five years now, and although she is still fighting this terrible disease, I just knew in my heart it is time to bring the children back to see their great grandmother. She has been a very important person in my life....she has given me advice on friends, life, and she has even been on the other end of the line to hear me cry about a terrible haircut.:) You would never know by looking at her how much she has suffered and fought through this illness...she is not the type of person who wants any sympathy.....and she doesn't have sympathy from me...she has all of my love and admiration. It is a blessing she has been able to fight this disease for five years...she has really beaten alot of the odds some doctors had given her at the beginning. That is why when my daughter was born...there was no question that her name would be Elizabeth (after my grandmother). I was told I had a less than one percent chance of ever becoming pregnant...and my Elizabeth is here. These two Elizabeths are very strong girls!!:) I wanted my children to spend time with their great grandmother, and for her to enjoy them. And, I have to say that both my grandparents have laughed and had so much fun with the kids. And, to me, that makes this whole trip worth it. We are only here for such a short time, and it is so important to let the ones we love know we cherish them. In the upcoming days, I will share some pictures of the children with my wonderful Grandmother and Grandfather. There aren't too many people I would fly half way around the world for...but are definitely one of them!!!:) I love you!:)

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