Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm sorry but I finally broke PLUS more Q & A...

Since we've been here, I have tried to do things eh...the right way but it seems like in certain instances always seem to challenge that stance and one in particular and that with regards to driving. Now before I describe the events that let to the "breaking", I want to answer some of the other questions that have been posed to me about life here...

Michelle - What is the percentage of accidents on a boat? In other words, how often would one actually need the life vest due to an accident? 

Well, I don't know of any accidents that has happened since we've been here. I am sure it happens because we do see boats that operate as mass transit and I know that maintenance is lacking in this city. So we've never really had to use the life vest and I hope we never have to.

Kerri - Oh, I have another question: how dangerous is it there? Details please.

This is a tricky question to answer but I will try. In my opinion, it depends in part on how smart you are and also in part where you live (and the paths you take). In any major city, most residents know where you should avoid and at what times you should avoid being out. It's no different here. You do hear of horror stories every now and then but the truth is that all of our lives are in the hands of God. The roads are treacherous and traffic jams often lead to car robberies. We've been warned of some of these places. However, our apartment location is quite possibly the safest neighborhood in town because it's by a majority of the foreign embassies. In a nut shell, it can be.

Christi - On a day like in those pics (flooded streets) I would think you'd take the boat to work. Why did you drive instead?

Great question! Occasionally when it's rained (say overnight), we've taken the boat and sent the driver with the car for the return journey. We did that this recently past Friday. However, that particular Friday, it was actually currently raining and the boat we had access to that day didn't have a cover that would prevent us from getting soaked. But normally it's preferred especially now when it's like Seattle or London where it rains about every minute.

Rachel - I was kinda wondering the same thing as Christi. It seems a boat would be a better option, no? Love the updates!

Yes it would :)

Thanks for your questions. Keep them coming. 

Now back to my "Breaking"...I was forced to brave the Lagos roads on Tuesday because our driver was stuck in traffic trying to get here. Let me retrace my steps and make an honest statement. At least twice every five minutes I drive, I want to flip someone off so bad that it hurts that I don't. You will be happy to know that self restraint is still winning. Now, there are certain maneuvers people make when driving like, making another lane when there is traffic and I have always been hesitant to follow suit. Finally, on Tuesday, I was running so late that I actually initiated the additional lane. I felt queasy doing it, but it saved me at least 30 minutes and then my conscience died. I finally broke. I am sure that I won't repeat this in little Pittsburg, KS and I hope I don't have to do it here again. But I am broken so, it is bound to happen again...unless I heal before the chance comes up.

Well, I would it's 19 days till we are in Pitt. I am not counting really but Delta Airlines is so that helps. Oh, Amy is as well.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Where's Noah's Ark?

Last Thursday, I wrote about the things I can't get used to and I specifically mentioned traffic especially when it rains! Well, I think I spoke to soon because it rained all night and we woke about to a city pretty much under water. It took us only an hour to get to work but that was because there were not too many cars mobile. I think many people were either stuck trying to get out of their home and the sedans that did didn't make it far. We saw one too many cars stranded and as we wadded through the soupy roads, Amy at one point was downright scared that water was going to begin seeping into the car.

Inside Someone's Compound

Victoria Island
The pictures you see are not fake and are only a blimp on the radar as far as the experiences of others. Anyway, that's all I have. I wish I had better pictures but you sort of get the picture. I could leave the window down long enough to get more because of the rain and my paranoia that I'd drop the camera into the ocean.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Response to your Questions.

Last time, I asked for questions so here are the few questions I got in order of when I received them and my responses- 

Lori - About the pic of Amy (looking lovely) wearing a life vest: do you provide your own life vests?

We do not have to provide our own life vests although it'd probably more sanitary if we did. Each boat has a few and I think we've used 5 so far and I know of 2 that we haven't been in just yet.

Anna - What have been the 3 most difficult things to adjust to (for you or Amy), and the 3 easiest things to adjust to? I think it might help me understand what everyday life is like for y'all.

The is a bit trickier to answer and it is also a fluid answer i.e. depending on the day. I would say the most difficult thing to adjust to is easily the traffic situation. It is extremely worse than can be comprehended and completely unpredictable except that when it rains, it is downright awful. Another thing would be the issue of "Nigerian Time" i.e. time typically means nothing to many people so meetings are usually late and projects aren't usually completely if ever on time. The traffic situation doesn't help that either. Lastly, I would say that having to live away from many of the godly relationships that have made me in large part who I am today is a tough pill to swallow. 

The easiest things...the weather since I prefer heat to the brutal winters of the Midwest. The food (for me anyway) is also easy to fall back in love with especially Suya (google it) and finally, being back around certain friends and family has been very easy. There are just some relationships that transcend the effects of time lost.

Kerri - Ugo, I love that you're taking photos and blogging. You could take a photo of the outside of your apartment from the boat. Also, what does your office look like? Take a photo of some of the native foods as well please.

Unfortunately, you may have to endure poor pictures in this respect here. My office is simple. I have a glass desk, two short cabinets that sit on the ground. I also have a small 22in flat screen TV on the wall that isn't currently functional. As far as pictures of native food, I will do that as an ongoing project. Here are the pictures you requested -

View of Apartment Building from the boat

View of Apartment from the Boat

View of the Water from our Apartment
My office Desk

Roasted Corn a.k.a. BBQ According to Amy 
As I get more pictures of local foods, I will make sure I share them. It's not too often that I actually eat a lot of very local foods other than the variations of rice here as well as the aforementioned suya. That's all the questions I have. If you have any other questions or request, don't hesitate.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

He has made everything beautiful in its time

Ecc. 3:11 - He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

I was thinking about us being here and how insanely busy our weeks get. Somehow, the weeks go by fast but yet it feels like time is standing still. But then I realize that it is a season in life that we are currently in and to trust the He, God, knows it all. He know the the end from the beginning and He stand outside of time. That's a God in whose hands  I can trust my life. Along the way, we have will continue to run into some remarkable people and hope that God helps us develop some life long relationships through the process.

I also want to say I am thankful for the woman of God Amy is. I don't think there is anyway in the world I would be able to do this without her. I know it can't be easy on her but everywhere I go, I hear how moved people are by her countenance. Glory to God. I also want to thank those from home who stay in constant touch and make sure I never feel too far away. I am glad for technology mucho. It's crazy that Jonathan, Kerri, Joseph and I can stay in touch in a group chat through Whatsapp?! It is wild because it is nice to wake up and read conversations that have been going on and while it makes me think of home even more often, it reminds me that out of sight isn't out of mind.

That all said, occasionally I take random pictures during our drives and also sometimes when we are on the boat. Enjoy the few that are actually worth sharing :).

Aging National Theater...looks like it could use renovating

Another Day, Different Boat

Can't tell it's been a long day, can you?

Boat Load of Stuff being shipped in

A Metal Creature of some sort

Traffic! Poor Suckers

I'm pretty sure that's not how you spell that
Since I am a terrible blogger, please ask me any questions you may and I will try to respond in a future blog post. It may actually help me to process how things are going since I tend to operate more like an emotionless machine. Also if you would like pictures of anything in particular, let me know and I will do my best to capture it (as long as it is prudent).