Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sanitation Day or Environmental Saturday

What to look for in this picture. NOTHING. It is an empty street. But that is precisely why I took the picture. The street was empty!! This is usually a VERY busy intersection. But today was Environmental Saturday or Sanitation Day. By law the last Saturday of each month from 7am - 10am you cannot be out on the streets. That is when they do trash pickup or street cleaning or something. But I think it is a brilliant idea!! It was so quiet and peaceful this morning. There were no sirens or honking car horns. Just peace. Maybe we should do this every Saturday!! Or at least maybe twice a month. I will be ready and waiting for the next one!

Friday, March 30, 2007

At home there are squirrels... Here there are lizards!!

It seemed back in Oklahoma everywhere you looked there was a squirrel running around. Here there are lizards. They are EVERYWHERE. I am finally getting to the point that I am not startled when I see one dart across the edge of my vision. There are many different kinds of lizards here. But so far this is the largest and the prettiest kind that I have seen. This variety of lizard is about a foot long and they are fast!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Universal Truth... Teenagers are teenagers no matter where you are...

Roy has already been called as Young Men President at church. (He's in charge of the young men ages 12-18.) He had his first official activity this last Saturday. They only have 1 youth activity a month here. And I think it is always a combined young men/young women activity. Anyway, this activity was a focus on missionary work, but they went to Alpha Beach for the activity.

The activity started with an opening prayer and song, then a couple of the youth were asked to share their testimonies about missionary work. Then the missionaries spoke to the youth about what they can do to help share the gospel. And then once all the "official" stuff was done, the kids got to play. They played soccer on the beach and played in the surf. The ocean was kind of rough that day, so no swimming. But it was fun all the same.

I think Roy is really enjoying working with the youth here. I can tell he is very excited about it. This is a picture of all the youth, leaders, and missionaries that were there for the activity. Maybe one day I will learn (and be able to remember) all their names.

P.S. I REALLY miss my young women back home!! I think about you girls ALL the time. You ARE loved.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Do not try and adjust your TV sets...

The water in this picture is the correct color. I still don't take baths here much yet. Mostly because I can't get past the color of a full tub of water. That is the color you get straight out of the tap. No filthy bodies have sat in that tub yet! This is why we don't drink the water out of the sink. We don't even use it to brush our teeth. But, however, we shower in it daily. Hmmmmm... there's logic in there somewhere...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Here is the close ups of the fabric for Roy's fancy pajamas that I promised.

This is the one that was machine embroidered.

And this is the hand embroidered one.
I'm just dying to go to Yaba Market (that's the fabric market) but we can't go there without a security detail. So I will have to wait until we can arrange a group outting to make it worth arranging for security. *sigh*

The longest drive EVER...

Ok, so I missed posting yesterday, sooooo.... Today I am doing two.

Yesterday we had an American Women's Club (AWC) Hospitality Coffee. It is a "social gethering" that they do once a month where you can bring people who are new and interested in joining. Well this time it was in Apapa. (Apapa is part of Lagos, kind of like Edmond is part of Oklahoma City.) Anyway, it normally takes 20 minutes to get there. But yesterday the traffic was SOOO bad that it took us 2 1/2 hours to get there!! It gave me lots of time to look around and take some pictures along the way.

As we crossed one of many bridges I looked out the window and saw a sea of roofs. They were all metal and mostly all rusted.

This is beneath one of the bridges. In this picture you can see at least one shop set up and you can see some of the abandoned cars that seem to line almost every street.

In order for for us to be able to go to Apapa we were required (by company protocol) to have an armed escort. This is the policy for several of the oil companies. So one of the larger ones arranged for us to take a bus with a security escort. This is a view out the front window of the bus. We were stuck on a long bridge in a huge traffic jam. We had large trucks on both sides of us and they were closing in just a little. It was a bit scary!

We couldn't decide if this bridge was lined with drying laundry or if it was clothing for sale. I think it is drying laundry. It went on like this for almost a quarter of a mile!

The yellow vans are the buses for Lagos. Most of the buses in Apapa and the mainland are yellow. The ones of Victoria Island (VI) where I live are usually white. But they are everywhere and they are ALWAYS packed.

In this picture you can see the security vehicle that was ahead of us. We also had one behind us. And again the sea of yellow buses.

This is a view of the inside of the bus we took. It was fairly comfortable except for the stopping and starting and then the huge bumps!! The back of the bus would bounce VERY hard. Kind of like the big tan van when we were kids.

The entire trip ended up taking about 2 1/2 hours there and 1 hour to get back and we only stayed at the function for an hour! But it was deffinately an adventure. I got to see a part of Lagos that I don't normally get to go to and I had an enjoyable time talking to the ladies on the bus. It was a LONG tiring day, but a good one. (I'll post more about the actual hopsitality coffee on another day, that was a whole other story!)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Here, you don't have to wait until Halloween to wear pajamas to work...

Every Friday is Nigerian dress day at the offices here. That means everyone is allowed to wear traditional Nigerian clothes to work instead of stuffy slacks and button up shirts. Traditional Nigerian clothes, in my opinion, are really fancy pajamas. (At least for the men, the women wear very fitted dresses with their hair all wrapped up in fabric... that will be pictures for a different day.) Anyway as I was saying... REALLY FANCY PAJAMAS. Roy just had 2 outfits tailored so that he could wear pajamas to work on Fridays.

(For those interested in fabric... These fabrics are not prints. They are a woven 3-D pattern. I will post closeups later. They are really great fabrics!)

The green outfit was hand embroidered and the blue one was machine emboridered. There was a lot of work put in to these. And the best part is that they weren't to expensive. The fabric (5 1/2 yards of each) was 5,000 nira. That's about $39. (That's what I said mom... 11 yards of this great fabric for $3.55 a yard!!!) And then it was about another 5,000 nira for the tailoring. Oh and each outfit will have a hat that goes with it, but the tailor didn't write down Roy's head measurement the first time and had to get it again when he brought the outfits. So Roy will get the hats on Wednesday. I will take a pics of them when he gets them. Roy is THRILLED with his fancy pajamas. (Can you blame him... I've ALWAYS wanted to get away with wearing pajamas to work!! Not just on Halloween!)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Twice now we have found little visitors in our bedroom. Geckos seem to like to hang out there. It doesn't bother me to much... I just don't want them to crawl across me in the middle of the night!! EEKKK!! They really are helpful to have around the house. They eat any little bugs that might come in. This is the first one we found. It was actually from my first trip out here, back in January. He was about 2-2.5 inches long. He ran REALLY fast.

This is the one we found just the other day. He was so little and cute. We managed to get a couple of pictures taken of him. Then we stopped to see if they turned out ok, and when we looked back to see where he was, he was GONE. Very fast little bugger.

At some point I'm going to have to post pictures of some of the lizards that are outside. They are EVERYWHERE. There are as many, if not more, lizards here than there are squirrels back in Oklahoma. And they are pretty good sized too.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Traffic is a mess

I took this picture the other day while we were sitting in traffic waiting for it to move. We were at/in an intersection, nosing our way through it. The traffic lately has been very heavy. It seems the closer it gets to election time (mid-late April) the more congested the traffic seems. But go-slows (traffic jams) are not uncommon here. One time we got stuck in a big go-slow and when we got up to where the wahalla (trouble) was, it was a scraggly horse just wandering down the middle of the road.

This is a view from the top of Roy's "new" office building. (They have been paying rent on this building since October, but they still haven't gotten everything squared away to move in... It is a big joke here "when we move to the new office". And a touchy subject with the ones paying the bills.) This gives you an idea of how the intersections work here. There are no traffic lights, and no one pays any attention to street signs. You just nose your way out into traffic and demand a spot in the chaos. One day I will have to post a picture of the round abouts. I think those are worse than the intersections!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

A project... I need those here.

I think I am inspired today by the Petersen picture a day project. I don't know if I can quite do a post a day, but I am going to make the attempt and if I miss a day, we won't fret about it. So, the goal here is that I am going to start trying to take more pictures while I am home, out, shopping, at the library, wherever doing whatever. Because I know that everyone is curious to know what life is like here in Nigeria, and I am TERRIBLE at sending e-mails. (I hate a 1-sided conversation.) SO... I am going to do my best to load pictures to my new Flickr account and then do a write up here about 1 picture each day. I have gained a lot of insite into Alisa's family's life with her picture a day project, and I realized it doesn't take a huge write up or big long e-mail stories to share the little things in our days. So today I am inspired... maybe it will last for a week, maybe I will be able to maintain the inspiration. But either way we are going to give it a shot! :o)