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Saturday, May 21, 2011


This week has been a busy one and I haven't been able to get on to post much.  The end of the school year is always a busy time and combined with worry about a few health issues which came up with my mom this week, I haven't had a whole lot of extra time.  But, I knew I needed to make sure I took some time today to post about the trip Elizbaeth and I took out to see Happiness' new flat.:)  Guy and Jeremy were going to come with us, but poor Jeremy woke up this morning feeling pretty warm and not too good, so Guy stayed home with him ,and Elizabeth and I hit the road for a "girls' trip!"  ( Fatai drove of maybe not an "all girl girl trip"!:)
She moved into a new flat quite a ways away...further down the Lekki Expressway than I have ever been...
Baby strapped to his mother's back while riding an okada

so crazy!!!

And another baby riding an okada!

We traveled about 37 kilometers down the Lekki Expressway until we came to Awoyaya in Ibeju Lekki Government.  Today, there was no traffic and it took about 45 minutes from our compound to her flat.  Next year, there will be some renovations done to our compound and there will no longer be steward's quarters, so Happiness needed to move and find a new place to live...
Waiting for us on the road to guide us in.:)

Happiness' dad, Udoh, sister, Mathilde, and Happiness ( I think you know the little girl in the pic.:)

Her dad and sister came over to surprise her today right before Elizabeth and I arrived.:)  Happiness has been slowly moving things in to her new place.  She has a one bedroom flat with a sitting room , a small bathroom, and a tiny kitchen.  She told me she was so excited because she finally has a place where she doesn't have to draw the water from a well to take a shower...she has running water!!!:)
Happiness and Elizabeth in the sitting room

Mathilde, Nathaniel( Happiness' husband), Udoh, Happiness and Nathaniel

This picture was taken right before the doorway to her flat.  It was so heart warming to see how happy she was to show me her place and her plans for it.:)

As we drove back to Victoria Island, I couldn't make that old familiar feeling go away.  It is a feeling which comes over me more often than not while I am riding in the car and observing people outside.  I always wonder," How did I get so lucky?"   How was I so blessed to never have to know what living without running water means? ( unless of course you are talking about the aftermath of a hurricane). I watch the people working on the side of the roads and can't get that thought out of my head...
shop on side of the road


not sure what this is...

tire fixing station

Not sure f someone is living here...but there was laundry drying  in one of the openings

Often times, I look at Happiness and see such a wonderful hard-working woman.  She loves my children, and she takes care of my home and my children as if everything and Jeremy and Elizabeth are her own. Today, I looked at her and saw a woman who is so proud of her new place, and she was exuding utter....well....I can't think of another word except for happiness!!!  I remember finding out that Guy had hired a woman who would be our steward and found out her name was Happiness.  My friend and I had such a good time laughing about her name!   I really couldn't believe that someone actually had that for a name.  But, now, almost two years later...I can't imagine her with any other name!  Her name fits her  in every way.:)  She doesn't ever see Nigeria the way I see her, it is her home..plain and simple.  I admire her for her hard work in a country where it could be so easy to just give up. She is such a blessing in my life and she is a huge reason for my happiness in living in another country.:)


  1. I am sure you also bring even more happiness into her you do with me!

  2. Don't know why but I too feel Happy for Happiness. It's contagious I think! It's nice to learn that she has an apartment else in other developing countries you would find house help living in shanties. It's your contribution to society by providing her the job and stability. Cheers for Happiness!

  3. Meredith, just found your blog - love it! Couldn't figure out how to send you a private message but wanted to invite you to join (an online community for Naija moms and moms-to-be).

    Would love to have you feature some of your blog write-ups; please share with others (including your blog followers as well ;)). Thanks!