Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

Nigeria: Day 2

   Reading the morning paper, we find that yesterday the Director of Finance and Supply for the Information Ministry, Pastor Isuwa Kiforo, was shot at the Kaduna state Government House. Shot by the main gate guards after he didn't stop for security. Kaduna is a state just north of the capital.

   Down in the hotel lobby I found the other beekeeping volunteer who'll be in Nigeria at the same time as me. He's not going to be near me though. Doug's an older fellow who likes to crack jokes with Nigerians. Immediately prior to his arrival here in Nigeria he was adventuring in Ethiopia. There he trekked through a sandstorm to a remote volcano, visited some sulphur springs, and visited the lowest place on earth, where they mine salt with camels ... and several tourists were gunned down only two weeks ago. "But it was okay, the army was there and lots of villagers with kalishnikovs!"
   He's also done a number of beekeeping training projects already in various countries.

   Our driver, Blessing, picked us up to take us to the Winrock offices. Like all offices in the neighbourhood, the building was surrounded by a wall and the gate had an attached little gatehouse, in which a 15 year old boy seemed to be employed to open the gate as needed. The small winrock field staff were all very nice. While we were talking to the director he got a text from a friend advising him that a bomb had just gone off in Kaduna (he has family there).
   Despite Kaduna being in the zone of violence, Doug wants to visit there because there's a lot of beekeeping work that's been done up there.

   While getting breakfast at a little cafe in the back of a grocery store we checked out the honey selection, and what did we find?? Honey from America?!?!?! Even in America honey isn't typically from America!!!! Oh also garlic honey?!?!?

   Visited the money changers, which consists of pulling up to the side of the road across for the sheraton, where some sketchy looking characters are lurking about. When you pull up they approach you and begin haggling an exchange rate. Got my money exchanged for 159, which was pretty good. As of this moment the exchange rate is 158:1 so... I just earned six bucks.

   Doug proceeded with a driver down to his assignment in Kogi province and I got on a domestic flight with the winrock country director and we took a 40 min flight down to Ibadan.

   In Ibadan we visited the host organization (Pan-African Development Council, or something)'s local headquarters, which was about the size of a closet, and the local government headquarters. The "local government" administers a quarter of the city of Ibadan, and about 300,000 residents. The headquarters building is made of concrete, unpainted, seems to have a perpetual throng hanging out in front (a very happy seeming throng though), and a construction grader is "parked" in front of it with four extremely flat tires. Met the local government chairman, who is treated with a great deal of respect.

   After that, checked in to my hotel. Tried to take a shower immediately, since it's very hot here, but found the showerhead had no mount and had no water pressure if held higher than three feet above the tub.
   Due, I suspect, to this, the hotel management decided suddenly to upgrade me to a sweet friggen huge suite. In this one the shower works fine. Also in all three rooms I've been in now, the hotel staff showed me to the room, turned on every light (the light switches are hidden all over the room like Easter eggs) and turned on the tv. In the case of this last room, they turned on both TVs. Then they depart leaving me to figure out how to turn the TV off.

   Also this day was valentines day. It is celebrating in force in Nigeria, being mentioned on numerous signs and throughout the day on the radio. I'm told that in Nigeria girls are not impressed with flowers but expect to be bought jewelery or clothing. Such sauce!

Next Time in Nigeria: Finally meeting the bees and "there's been an incident with Doug's team"...!

Tags: africa, agdev, doug, nigeria, nigeria i, travel, travelogues

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