A Tale of Two Halves

For those of you who are interested, you can probably see Keffi Street on the miracle that is Google Earth. If you look carefully you may even see Chris waving out of the window.

Louise with load on head a

You need more practice Lou!

Do you have any idea of how hard it is to carry things on your head? Incredibly. And yet every day we see hundreds of people carrying anything and everything on their heads: huge sacks, plates of nuts, bowls of butchered goats and large rolls of cloth. It looks so easy, effortless in fact. Nigerians have such poise and balance. Unfortunately for Louise she does not share any of these skills as she found out when she attempted to blend into the crowd at the women’s centre.

Saturday evening was spent with the Sisters having an African version of pizza – corned beef continues to feature highly on the menu here! Seeing us struggling in the heat, the Sisters decided to give us our leaving gifts early. We are now the proud owners of our own traditional Nigerian clothing.

C,L  &H in African clothes a

Chris, Helen and Lou in colourful Nigerian dress

In return we gave them the gifts we had brought them from home; a framed photo of St Paul’s Cathedral, a London fridge magnet, a calendar of the sights of Blackpool and some chocolates.

Today the traditional Nigerian experiences continued with a trip to the Falamo Church Harvest Bazaar. The closest we come to being able to describe it is as a church fete. In the UK, Harvest is usually a couple of carrots and a tin of beans. In Falomo they were auctioning cars, three piece suites and goats to the highest bidders. For Chris, the most exciting part of the day was the journey there in the taxi with 10 nuns – it was almost like a scene from Sister Act. We were ushered into the High Rollers marquee where we were plied with free food and drink. It was a far cry from the children who surrounded us begging for money and food as we left to come home. Nigeria really is a country of huge contrasts and I’m not sure we’ll ever get used to it.

Another highlight of the weekend was a trip to a supermarket, the first one we’ve been to since leaving the UK. It’s amazing how excited we got. We stocked up on some essentials but stayed clear of the imported cereals which were the equivalent of £8!

Some statistics so far:

Laundry soap used: 1 bar, some travel wash and some washing powder
Insect bites: 8 between us
Longest continual supply of NEPA: approx 8 hours
Road traffic collisions: One
Malarone induced dreams: Too numerous to count

4 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Halves

  1. Well I must say the dress looks very fetching. You will have to perfect the art of sashaying.
    No mention of the heat and how you cope with it.

  2. Pete,

    The heat – where to start!!!! Coping not so well, especially after PE sessions with the children on the sand field, the humidity is the main problem though. We’re acclimatising a little now but still looking forward to moving north to Jos next Monday.

  3. Hi Lou, Chris and Helen!

    It’s been great to hear your news! The gecko took me back to La Reunion and Cambodia. Impromptu room mates but you get used to them don’t you! The Nigerian dress looks amazing. Hope the insect bites and malarone induced dreams are slowly fading as you acclimatise. Safe journey to Jos and keep in touch.

    Love and prayers, Jo.

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