We are now back in Kwara and I am reflecting on my return to the UK. It was very hard coming back! Saying goodbye to my family tore me apart. Baby Orla had grown so much in the six months since I had last seen her and she was talking! Katie is frantically getting her wedding preparations underway and I just felt I had missed out on a lot.
However we had a great time. The holiday began as soon as we got on the BA plane and I was offered coffee with milk-‘Real milk?’ I almost screamed! ‘Of course madam and you can have more if you want!’ The in flight entertainment was great to-‘Little Fockers’! Even the free tooth brush and flush toilet caused pleasure-I am so easily pleased now!
At first I found it hard in shops and difficult to buy things which seemed so expensive. As a result I spent a frantic last few days buying things like a new head torch, blu-tac, tee-shirts, a decent potato peeler and all the other things on my list that are hard to get here. Best of all is my kindle-it is fantastic. Not only has it got books on it and a little light so I can read in the dark but also I can get the internet without paying anything! Magic!
As well as meeting up with the family we had a lovely few days staying with friends. The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed a barbeque in Gil and David’s garden. I went to see ‘Red Riding Hood’ with Gil-it was not very good but I really enjoyed just being in the cinema!
We had a few days in the Lakes which was pure heaven. We stayed in a great hotel near Keswick and Derwent Water. We went on lovely walks-it was so nice to walk about in the fresh air again. I also enjoyed the boat trip, the lovely food and the bath in the hotel! In fact I had several baths while I was at home!
Many thanks to Dave at RT Booth optician for fixing the glasses for free. I also finally got my filling fixed which was not free unfortunately.
Most of the time we spent with Katie. I loved going riding with Carrie and watching her in the dancing competition. I made up for lost time with cappuccinos and scones! I also visited my mom and we enjoyed a pub lunch together. Thank you Ann for the clothes you donated for the orphans.
I visited my school who had also collected for the orphans. It was good showing them my photos and talking about my experiences. They sat and listened for ages! They had also raised money-about the equivalent of 10,000 naira so I will use that to buy rice for the orphanage. Thank you also Karen for all the lovely clothes that you bought. We were able to bag everything up so that every child in the orphanage will get at least four new clothes and two toys.
It was great to watch the Royal wedding on the television and Emily had a party in her garden so it was lovely to have the whole family together. Lucy stayed the night in her new tent-we did not join her as we were enjoying the hot baths and electric lights too much!
The journey back was not good! Most of the time I was sobbing quietly into Lea’s handkerchief! On arrival at Abuja we had to wait 8 hours for a connecting flight! As we arrived at 4 am this was a bit of an ordeal as the chairs in the airport are not designed with comfort in mind! I was also stressing over our luggage. I worked out that we would have to pay Arik 20,000N for excess baggage (the extra two suitcases we had full of orphanage stuff) and was wondering how my haggling skills were going to cope! However when we finally checked in there was a sudden rush of people and bags seemed to be thrown on at terrific speed. No-one noticed how heavy our stuff was!! Despite having hours to check in they had left it to the last minute-how wonderful!!!
So we finally arrived and what a wonderful welcome from our neighbours-they were so pleased to see us! They were delighted with the simple gifts we gave them which was quite a humbling experience. We also had a great welcome in the office-they very much appreciated the chocolates!
The flat was almost the same –about 10 dead cockroaches were on the floor and an army of weevils had invaded my flour! It is very hot and now we are having problems with water as the well is drying up. So we are into storing water-oh the joys of turning on a tap!!! Neppa has been a bit better but there has been no internet at the office. Tragedy struck yesterday when I went swimming at Kwara hotel and left the big container of conditioner I had brought back in the shower!! Oh well back to my usual Nigerian hair-frizzy and sticking out!!