Saturday, October 25, 2008

Traveling to Nigeria

I already have had sooo much stuff happen over the last 30 hours since I left Pensacola… so I am going to try to get it all in before something else happens (like my “shower” with a bucket of water).

First flight out of Pensacola was delayed because of weather in Atlanta and then we were held in a waiting pattern because the visibility going into Atlanta was at ½ mile…just imagine lots of bouncing and turbulence.
I still had a couple of hours to spend in Atlanta so I walked all over – talked to family and friends and then sat in the E terminal waiting for my 11 hour flight to Lagos with a variety of other people. I LOVE walking around the E Terminal because that is where most of the international flights board. I like to watch the people and try to figure out where they are from…
Then we board the plane. It wasn’t the biggest plane I have ever been on – we didn’t have our own t.v.’s but it was still pretty big. The flight was not full so we almost all had an extra seat between everyone which is always nice when you are going to be together for so long. I watched “Swing Vote” around 2:00 a.m. and then attempted to sleep – but about 10 minutes into my nap our absolutely huge plane dropped about 3-5 feet. Not far…but enough that a prayer service almost started up all around me. Most of us had been sleeping/resting so as they were startled out of the rest they made a lot of noise. It was pretty fascinating. Actually at the time I scrunched up my eyes and tried to breathe so that my heartbeat would slow down, but now that I think about it, it was fascinating.
After that I never really got to sleep, I did nap after the second movie (The Visitor) but only off and on.
I loved flying into Lagos- this part of Nigeria is very, very lush and green and all of the buildings are painted bright colors. It is definitely not a wealthy area but it was still beautiful to look at the blend of colors…Okay, then we land in Lagos. I got through customs with no problems and only one comment about how “If I visited here for 2 weeks, then I would be sure to find a Nigerian husband”. Seems to be a common comment here. I got my suitcase and walked outside where I was asked about every 3 minutes if I needed a taxi. I was supposed to wait for Victory’s friend Max and he was going to help me get a taxi so I could get to their domestic airport, he wasn’t there when I walked outside. I kept telling all of the “taxi drivers” that I had a ride, a friend is coming but they would still ask every few minutes. Then they started to offer their phone so I could call my “friend”. I finally borrowed one of their phones after waiting for about 40 minutes to call Mary Ann to see if Max was still coming or if I missed him. She said he was definitely coming and that she really didn’t want me to try to get a taxi without him. So…then Mr. Phone Loaner starts asking me for money since I used his phone. Blech. I hate that kind of stuff. So I told him that I wasn’t going to give him any money because he didn’t tell I would have to pay him AND I need the little money I had for my taxi. And THEN he asked me if he could have my number so that we could start talking and he would be willing to fly me back to Nigeria in December. HA! So I lied to him and I told him I didn’t think my boyfriend would appreciate it if I handed out my number to other men. Dang, I don’t know how Mary Ann puts up with that on a daily basis.
Max got there another hour later – that’s a whole other story – and he personally escorted me to the other airport where I caught my domestic flight to Owerri. He was very nice and it was great to know that I could trust him…so I made the airport transition pretty well.

I was greeted at the Owerri airport by Mary Ann and 2 other girls and one of the guys that helps around the ministry. It was sooo good to see Mary Ann! They had to start the car by pushing it in the parking lot – and then we started the 40 minute drive to Global Christian Ministries, where Mary Ann lives. Okay, I imagine the driving here is a lot like it would be in India – very reckless, no order, people swerve all over the road to avoid potholes that tiny to potholes that could be a swimming pool! We passed about 60 ministries and some of them were already having tent services for the evening. Again, the tents and clothing is very, very colorful. I wanted so badly to take pictures of all the people walking down the street with all sorts of stuff balanced on their heads! Bags, boxes, jars…it is incredible. But there were already plenty of people paying attention to the fact that there were 2 white girls in this vehicle so I didn’t want to draw any more attention to us. But I am just going to have to get over that because there are going to be 2 white girls traveling quite a bit this week…oh and, we got pulled over two different times. I don’t really don’t know why. They both looked like checkpoints and they must randomly make people pull over but it didn’t take long either. (Okay, I know more about the checkpoints but will write more later).
Last but not least, some of the girls made us dinner tonight – it was something that tasted like spicy Spanish rice and then beef jerky. Mary Ann warned me that they don’t really know what is in the meat…but it didn’t taste too badly.
Tonight- I have been chatting and hanging out with Mary Ann in her apartment. The weather here is a lot like Pensacola’s weather in August and then there isn’t any air conditioning…so we have lots of fans on!!!

Okay – going to bed…it’s 11:22 p.m. here…miss you all!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hello! I found you through a Derek Webb search- and I love your blog!