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Friday, March 16, 2012


One thing a person will most likely notice upon coming to Lagos is how simply everyday people out on the streets live.  I used to notice it all the time, but now, I am sad to say , that many times, I am able to see past alot of the people walking and selling things along the busy streets of Ikoyi and V.I.  But, while I was taking Elizabeth to school this morning, I saw this man.  I remembered a post I had done the first year I was here and how it struck me so much the fact that some people had to go back and forth to haul water here all day. Now, I probably see this 10 times a day when we are out and I haven't really paid too much attention.  For some reason this morning, it struck me about how I felt seeing these men when I first moved here...
 Then, I saw this woman selling soya milk..weaving in and out of cars and okadas so she can earn her money...
 and this "mango cart"...why not use a wheel barrow??
 And this poor man, didn't have a car or an he was trying to ride his bike across the Falomo Bridge to V.I., but he fell off the bike...
 Lots of baggage to bring on your problem...we'll bungee cord the bus shut!
 There are 4 adults on 5 small benches inside the bus....they all need to be they "make do" with what they have..

I was thinking about how so many Nigerian people make do with the things they have.  That philosophy is so far from the way I thought about things when I first came here.  If I needed something in the U.S., I went to the store and bought it...the LAST thing I would do would be to try to use some creativity and use something I already had.  I was a teacher of early elementary for a while, but even that didn't stop me from going to Target for every little thing I may need. It was just too easy and comfortable to run off to get what I needed.  Then, I started thinking...maybe that part of "making do" in Nigeria has rubbed off on me...just a little bit. 

I remember when someone asked me to teach Sunday School here.  The first thing I thought was
 " How am I going to do this without Target and Michael's to get supplies?"  Well,
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to tell you that I have been teaching Sunday School(volunteering) for almost two straight years here in Lagos with nothing but glue sticks, construction paper and markers ( which I brought over with me)....and an occasional print out from the computer.  And the crafts we have done haven't been too bad.  I know I would never have used that "creative" part of my brain in the U.S.  Things are just a lot easier there. But, it turns out that trying out that "creative" side may be a little uncomfortable...but it can be very exhilarating, too.:)

So, when Elizabeth wanted to have a Dora the Explorer birthday party, I wasn't as panicked as I would have been a few years ago.  Of course, over the summer, I had brought a few Dora things in our shipment, but hadn't really thought about the actual party.We needed the "back pack" for each guest...which I did not bring in the shipment.  I am sure I could go trudging off to Balogun to try and find something...but I just don't have it in me.....thank God I found this site, really can make a back pack out of construction paper!!!!

 In the U.S. I would have gone to the local party shop to buy a pinata for her party, but there isn't enough energy in the world these days for me to try to go off on a hunt for a pinata in I actually made her pinata...

one balloon ( check)
newspaper check)
flour and water ( check and check)
a few crap pieces of tissue paper to look like flowers ( check)
and voila....a pinata!
So, I guess what I am trying to say in this post is that the people in Lagos have inspired me to make use of what I already have and try to turn it into something beautiful...just like the many people I see out on the streets of Lagos every. single. day.:)  ( Just FYI, the people peeing and pooping on the sides of the roads haven't inspired me at all!!!!:))


  1. maybe those people on the side of the road have inspired you to always use the toilet before leaving home?

    1. I guess I never thought of it that way, asha!!:) I suppose they do inspire me in some small way! LOL!!!:)

  2. Haha, Asha...but u r right! Meredith, those are cute backpacks :)

    1. Thanks Suzi!! I'm sure the backpacks won't survive five minutes with the little ones...but no one can say I didn't try!:)