Me at Lucy's Wedding. The sun does shine in England!

Me at Lucy's Wedding. The sun does shine in England!
Me still in England!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

More training and taxis!

Yes more training. Food is becoming a challenge! At breakfast I tried yam slices-okay if you accept they taste of nothing even when I added some marmalade! Fortunately there is fruit-pineapple and melons. Then it was another hair-raising drive to the VSO office which involved a very near miss when a car in front decided to suddenly open the passenger door! Everywhere there is hooting-and it's not to say hi!. At 12 we had to go in a taxi again which Shreela (one of the facilitators) haggled the price for 300 nairas. The next taxi driver wouldn't agree the same price so Lea, who was in the next group, was later while they waited for a more reasonable price. We actually drove to the local hospital which I thought I might become a patient in after yet another mad drive only this time in the front seat where I could see some very dodgy looking controls and got out with dirt all down my top off the very dusty seat belt! Not sure why we went to the hospital but the doctor there was very welcoming. Back to the VSO office for more training-finally getting the hang of going in a taxi-I just close my eyes! Really like the other volunteers I have met. Jane has reasssured me a lot about our house in Ilorin and my job. Lea and I have got a room with an ensuite! We then learnt we are going to Akanga in Nassawara to stay with a volunteer called Lucy for 4 days to learn about the basics of living here.
Having only had rice for Lunch (despite ordering fried rice it came with a piece of chicken on top ) we went with two otther volunteers to an Indian restaurant where, at last there was a choice of veggie food. And yes it involved more taxis!
After so much excitement I just wanted to go to bed. I discovered to my great joy that my shower now had lovely hot water. Sunday (the hotel receptionis) even found me a clean towel! The shower plus a big chunk of chocolate has revived my spirits a lot. Jeffrey (the hotel porter) is sitting on the stairs again tonight and told Lea he sleeps there as it would cost him too much to go home.
There are some amazing buildings in Abuja and if I can get the courage to open my eyes I will try to take some pictures tomorrow. I am just praying our trip to Akanga doesn't involve an okada (motorbike)!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Crystal Palace

  We are in the Crystal Palace hotel in Abuja and the photo on Trip Advisor was quite a good picture of my room. I can however lock the door and the bed is comfy. Lea has his own room 3 floors below called the Princess Suite which comes with 2 cockroaches but has hot water in the shower so we are making the most of all the facilities they have to offer. I am using the hotel computer in my room now a nice man has found a cable for the internet1
The journey was okay but we were delayed as there wasa problem opening the aeroplane door on arrival! Then when we arrived here-having driven through rush hour traffic ( cars going up embankments to overtake and lots of near misses amidst hooting and angry gestures)-We found out they had expected us the day before! So after dumping our bags at 7am-having had no sleep on the plane we had to go to the VSO office for our training. In the afternoon I actually dozed off which didn't go down well! The other volunteers are very nice. There are only 3 from Britain. The second session was form filling which was horrendous as I kept muddling all the papers up! We then had lunch and a talk by the doctor. After we were taken back to the hotel where Lea and I just went to bed and slept for 12 hours!
Today has been much better. More volunteers came and we met Jane-from Kenya- who we will be living with. We have also been given a sim card and vitamin tablets. Yesterday we got the malaria net and personal alarms. We did some hilarious role play about what happens when you get a bus which caused one of the trainers much hilarity when she saw the look of horror on my face! We had lessons in pidgin English and Yoruba which were fun but can't remember any at the moment. Another hilarious session was how to set up the stove and trim the wicks. Then the power went but nobody murmured as the torches came out! It is now pouring with rain and there has been a terrific thunderstorm.
Nearly time to go and investigate dinner! It is going to be a challenge to be a veggie here but today at lunch I did well/ Really enjoyed the plantains!

Heathrow October 17th

Well her we are. First minor miracle acieved! It has been no mean feat getting two helmets, two big suitcases, a rucksack and two pieces of handluggage not to mention me with a handbag and two coats with pockets bulging) on a train to Euston, then in a taxi to Paddington and then in the expressway and out again (while they reattached the engine which had apparently come off-not a good time to sulk Thomas!) Last hurdle was the lift to the departures lounge where I am now sitting and will be for the next three hours. Nothing like arriving early!
I need a rest after the traumas of yesterday. Our house has never been so clean!!! I think I have finally become the bleach queen! At the eleventh hour we unearthed a list from the letting agency on how to leave your house. The dishwasher dispenser is immaculate1 I must also mention R D Booth opticians for very last minute alterations to  my glasses-I can see the font so reckon I'll be okay. Hope you are readingb this Dave?
Thanks to everyone who has helped this week. I have got the best family and friends in the world1 Lea has just returned so it is my turn to go and investigate the shops, spray myself with perfume, eat chocolate, read magazines.....