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Friday, January 28, 2011

Back in the saddle...or the harmattan...again!

This week has really been an adjustment after being away from Lagos for six weeks. I think Jeremy is over his jet lag...but he is extremely tired. Yesterday, when he came home from school, we went to the pool and then to the playground. After he ate dinner, he laid on the couch and fell asleep by 7 p.m. We put him to bed and he didn't get up until 8 a.m. Elizabeth had a little harder time. She started out waking up more than 6 times a night and getting out of bed ( seriously, i lost count after i know it was more) when we first got only 2 times( because her covers came off) and not getting out of bed. Last night was the first good night of sleep i got since getting back here...Coffee has been my friend this week.:) I think my biggest adjustment is taking the malarone again. I swear that my brain takes a vacation when I am taking malarone. Today, I almost poured juice into Elizabeth's cereal...and I found my hairbrush in my underwear drawer. Two things I know I didn't do when I was in the states.:) But, I guess that is better than getting malaria!!
I think it is good that we can leave and come back often enough so that Lagos doesn't start to seem mundane to me. Whenever I come back, I am still amazed by the crazy things I have seen here. Yesterday, the police decided that would be out in full force and try to stop the okadas from driving on the expressway. When we were taking the off ramp from the bridge to take Elizabeth to school, I saw passengers getting literally dumped off the okadas by the drivers and the drivers actually weaved their way through the cars( right past mine) in the opposite direction of traffic. I couldn't figure out what was happening, but then I saw the police at the bottom of the ramp with batons (to beat the unruly okada drivers) taking some unlucky okada drivers' motorcycles. No telling when the police will decide to come back and take okadas again....that is why the okada drivers are so crazy...there is no consistency from the government...
Two drivers in front of us ( in cars) were arguing with each other and holding up traffic in both of the lanes they were driving in. Their fists were swinging at each other out the windows.

The men are still peeing on the sides of the roads.

There was a woman walking through the street wearing only a pants....wandering aimlessly begging for money... That is one thing that I never get used to...the overwhelming destitution and poverty here. I feel it especially when i leave and come back and see it with fresh eyes again.

On Tuesday, a woman and her baby were knocking on my window while the car was stopped begging for money...

Before you can have a phone conversation with a Nigerian person, you have to have a proper greeting. You can't just answer the phone and say hi. The other person will Say ," Good afternoon." and there will be a long pause which is where you are supposed to say " Good Afternoon" Then the other person will say " How are you?" and you answer and then, they identify themselves...and there are about 4 other niceties that occur before the other person gets to the point of why they called in the first place...and you get the picture. That is fine...but when the security guards call your flat about 5 times a day everyday and you know it is the security guards and you have to go through the whole thing again for the smallest little things... it can get a little annoying. I guess in that way, I am just "very American"....I just want to get to the point when I am having a conversation...

Of course, there are also the good things when we come back. I get to see the great friends I have made here who join me for wine time down by the pool. The smiles on Nigerians' faces are great!! Nigerians have the biggest brightest smiles I have seen anywhere.:) The kids love their schools. We all get to see Happiness again.:) Having here here to help me has been the biggest blessing I could have ever had while living here....she is truly one in a million!!!

So, all in has been an okay matter where you are I guess you take the good with the bad.....and don't forget the you can always appreciate the good.:)

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there! I am sure this week will be the hardest..missing family, good roads (hee-hee) but you will "re-adjust" to Lagos and things will begin to flow again...well, maybe just the wine:)