Friday, March 11, 2011

You are Welcome to Nigeria

Both boys drove me to the airport and were patient with Mom’s tearful goodbyes. They even took a picture before I checked my baggage, appropriately right in front of a covered wagon advertising the Houston Rodeo. I had four checked bags, one carry-on, one laptop and 2 shower rods, which will be all my personal belongings until our shipment arrives in a few months. My packed items included clothing, food, towels, sheets, phones, converters, adapters, Girl Scout Cookies and plenty of books. I am ready!!
Thankfully my flight was uneventful albeit long. An escort met me right off the plane in Lagos and walked me through immigrations, avoiding the long line. Baggage was a bit time consuming, but they allowed Charles to come in and wait with me. It was great to see him after almost 8 weeks apart! In customs, I was stopped and asked to open all the bags. They inspected the first one, but became frustrated with my "slowness", and waved me through instead of waiting for me to leisurely (as advised) open the locks and my bags. :) Outside of the airport was a maze of people and incredible traffic. We traveled with our driver (who said" You are Welcome to Nigeria"), an armed guard (who also gave the typical greeting) and a chase car behind us, but none of it felt particularly necessary.
The sights and sounds from the airport to our compound were exactly what you see on TV – lots and lots of people, traffic, shacks, roadside stands and even a goat sale! At every slow down of traffic, vendors came down the middle of the street selling their wares.  I decided on the way that I really HAVE to have one of those “typical” outfits for women (including headdress) before I leave!  I'll post a picture when I can get a good one! 
Charles' boss called me as soon as I got in the car to say "You are Welcome to Nigeria", which I appreciated, and his wife offered to meet me one day next week for coffee.
This is the entrance road to our area right before we go into the first set of gates to our compound.  The island area seems very secure with LOTS of guards!  Dinner was ready when we arrived at the apartment, which was a fabulous meal of herb stuffed chicken and rice, along with papaya, mango and pineapple!!  I could get spoiled here quickly!  Our steward, Gabriel,  talked with me about how the food was santitized and assured me that he only uses bottled water for cooking.  He is very pleasant and formally greeted me with "You are Welcome to Nigeria"....explaining that life here isn't easy, but he hopes that I will enjoy it.  Diana (my friend from Houston/BSF) texted "You are Welcome to Nigeria" too!!  

So...I feel tired, yet welcomed!


Our adventure begins.......


Janet

No comments: