Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Holiday, Paris and the Summary of 2012 Nationwide Strike

Happy New Year to you all! First of all I must warn you, this post will be heavy on pictures...very heavy on pictures. I usually never have time to blog during the breaks we have so the first post ends of being a bit much and to a certain degree, I don't look forward to just spewing tons of information so I beg your forgiveness if this bores you to tears.

Our little holiday started in dramatic fashion. No, not at the Lagos Airport (which was surprisingly easy to deal with this time both departing and arriving). In a previous post I mentioned that I would try to attend the NCAA Division II Football National Championship. Well, as soon as we got into town from the airport, I hopped into the shower, cleaned up and split by road (550+ miles) to Florence, Alabama. It was an awesome game between Pitt and Wayne State and the result was...well, I'll let the photo below do the talking.

#1 Pittstate Gorillas!
After the 7,000+ miles it took me to get there, a win made the trip worth it. No, a loss wouldn't have because in my opinion, when it comes to sports, there are no moral victories. I did get to finally storm the field like a college student and realized, man, I'm too old for this "stuff".

The Crew I hitched a ride with
The rest of the stay in the States was heavy on family (spiritual and natural) and light on everything else (well, excluding food). Did I just us a pun there i.e. heavy on food? Wow, it was unintended. Moving on...We were even privileged to enjoy a meal with Jonny, Kayla and their adopted son, Nigerian born Joseph who stayed with us while they fought for his adoption. It was great to see them again and doing well! Well, again, I'll let these few pictures do the rest of the talking.

H and D enjoying Aunty Amy and Uncle Ugo's gift to H

The gorgeous Adaora hanging with her favourite Uncle

Hanging out with Joseph at Jack Stack

Part of the Christmas gang waiting for the opening of the Christmas presents for the kids

Another Aunty Amy and Uncle Ugo special, this time for D

H enjoying his time with Bubble Mater
I don't mean to brag but I think our gifts to all the kids won best in show...well, except for maybe Anthony. He got movies and books which I guess was okay. But that's what he parents said we should get for him so I blame them :).

Sadly shortly after the New Year began, we said our teary goodbyes or "see-you-laters" and split town. To help ease the return back to our real life, we decided to swing by Paris on the way back. It was our Christmas gift to ourselves. Let me say that although I wasn't too crazy about going to Paris, the city managed to exceed every expectation I had for her. The sights were unbelievable and much cooler in real life. The people were much nicer than the stereotypes. And the city was so easy to navigate that less than 24 hours after we arrived, we were practically locals and got stopped numerous times for directions. We tried to go to every place we've seen in books, movies, other people's pictures. We got to go to the Eiffel Tower and it's summit which was great to be able to see the entire city! We went to the Louvre Museum which houses the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and a ton of other famous sculptures and art work. In spite of my whining, we went by the Paris version of the Statue of Liberty. We also visited the Arc de Triumph and Champ Elysses, one of the most famous shopping/fashion district in the world. Paris is really easy to navigate and if you've ever spent time in London, it's similar in the way the public transportation works except that it's in French. Enough said, pictures time.

Amy atop the Eiffel Tower

At the base of the Tower

Posing in front of the Arc de Triumph

The Notre Dame Cathedral

The Eiffel Tower at night

The most awesomest public restroom I've ever used!

Some Cupid Stature Sculpted by Michelangelo at Le Musse de Louvre 

Mona Lisa

A section of Paris as seen from the top of the Eiffel Tower

The Statuette of Liberty in the palm of my hands

I think this is how the idea of baseball came about

Massive crowd at the Metro during the close of business. It was a mess.

Arc de Triumph in the bright lights
So most of the pictures are out of order but you get the point. Paris is a fun, crazy, cool place to visit if you have a chance and it did help ease the break back to Lagos. Although shortly after we returned. We realize that we could have actually spent more time abroad. That's because we came back to a nationwide work stoppage organized by trade unions due to the removal of subsidy from petrol.

Now, I will stay away from all the politics of it because those are well covered in the news both locally and through foreign news outlets. I borrowed a few pictures for this one.
Protesters gathered en mass
The creativity of the public due to zero cars on the roads

Military used to clear the streets after the strikes were postponed
We are back to work now. The strike was called off after a deal between the Government and the Labor groups. Prices were reduced albeit to a level higher than the previous level. There are still some grumblings and disagreements but it does seem like life in Lagos is getting back to normal. Well, that's all for now. For those of you wondering, we didn't feel threatened at any point because we spent most of the time indoors. Thanks for your prayers and support. I will do my best now to give you regular updates on life here.

1 comment:

Kerri said...

Thanks for posting.
It was lovely seeing you guys.