So much has happened and no time to blog! Yes we are finally in our placement. The flat is nice and has a cooker, fridge and water but very little electricity so far! We are sharing with Jane and Rosalyne who are from Kenya and have been very helpful and are good fun too, We have our own bedroom and bathroom. The bed is huge and we have put 3 mosquito nets over it and there is still a little gap. The pillows were massive and rock hard so i have removed loads of the filling to give my neck a break!
After visiting Lucy there was more ICT and my employer came to join me, He is the assistant director of SUBEB and called Abolowu. We talked a bit about what I would be doing and I also got a chance to try out some of my newly acquired Yoruba, So far I have learnt.:
Bowoni-how are you
Da da ni-fine
Abolowu enjoyed the food at the hotel and assured me I would soon get used to Goats Head soup but I have my doubts! In fact we decided to give the hotel food a miss in the evenings and sampled some of the restaurants in Abuja. One called Dunes was very nice –I had a salad-and the owner gave us free banana pancakes. Nova, a volunteer from New York, was very good at getting us cheap taxi rides.
During one of the ICT sessions we had to go round the room and write our thoughts on the countries represented on our training. On the USA poster were comments like loud, confident, like interfering in other country’s affairs. On the UK we had poor food, colonized our country, fatty fish and chips, the queen, stiff upper lip, industrious, work too hard, gentle but cunning, the queen. Lea did well to defend us by saying, “On behalf of the British Government I should like to apologise......” On the last night we all went to Spice Foods for a really good Indian meal with loads of veggie options so I was very happy.
Next day we flew with Obalowu to Ilorin-not an easy task with all our bags, helmets and water filter! At the airport a porter helped with the luggage and I was told I would have to pay 5000 naira in excess baggage charge but he said let me see if I can beg with them bit. True to his word he came back and we only had to pay 3000 naira, Pity he wasn’t with us at Heathrow. We flew in a small plane, minimal safety demo and no life jackets-but don’t suppose they would be much use on an internal flight. However we did get a drink and a biscuit.
When we landed we were met by a driver from ESSPIN (Education Support Section Programme in Nigeria) and driven very carefully-big contrast to Abuja to my office to meet everyone. It was good to meet Sue after emailing her for the last few months and a chance to try out my Yoruba on the team. I am trying very hard to remember their names. I met Mary and Gbenga that first day. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. I also had a desk with internet connection-wonder if I could take my straighteners in? Then off to our house where Jane was waiting. Sadly there was no NEPPA so unpacking in the dark was not easy and Lea got very hot putting up the mosquito net!
Am going to have to sign off now as my candle is wobbling dangerously! Can’t believe all this happened 4 days ago-have done so much since. More later and pictures..........