Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ihiala and back to Owerri!

Woke up this morning so thankful I finally made it through the night. I wasn't sure I was going to because of the heat. But when I woke up, I also felt better so maybe I got rid of my sickness by sweating!!!
We had a leisurely breakfast with the family and the worked out how were going to get to Ihiala and then home to Owerri. Victory originally thought we would come back to Onitsha before we went back to Owerri but it would save us time if we were able to go straight we found someone who could drive the hour to come and pick us up! Yea Calvin! Also, in the Nigerian culture it is a tradition to say good bye and thank you to the man of the house and he had already left for the morning so she sent someone to go get him so that we could say good bye.
We piled into the ministry van to head to Ihiala but first she wanted Mary Ann (and me by the way) to get measured by her seamstress so Mare can get more clothes made for a cheaper price. Then we were on our way.
When we got to Ihiala there weren't very many people around. There are lots of people on the main street where the shops are but once you turn off the main road it is quiet and very beautiful. We stopped at Victory's grandma's house to see the site of the future borehole and explore the area. Her grandma doesn't speak English so much of the time Mare and I just sat while Victory and her grandma spent some time together. Mare showed me part of the walk to the current water source and we saw some of the other houses and people who will benefit from the new borehole. It is so humbling to realize that many, many people in this entire area have to walk some distance to get water for their daily life needs. And here in Ihiala it's miles to get water. If we are able to bring them the first borehole then half of this community will only have to walk a quarter of a mile for water - but the other half will still have to walk a longer distance. And I just turn my water on. And off. And on. As I need/want. Victory's grandma seems to live off the land - plantains, oranges, yams and other things grow all around her. She brought us some oranges to eat and they were incredible. Their oranges fresh off the tree can't be beat!
Calvin picked us up to drive back to Owerri. I continue to be fascinated by the amount of people that will line up on the road to sell their goods(oranges, bananas, handkerchiefs and more) to people in cars. And how crazy the driving is. We did get pulled over at one of the check points but they let us go without much trouble - just made him show his drivers license and open the trunk.
Then back to Owerri AND it started raining which means the weather is soooooooo much cooler. I was so flippin excited! Mare got us some drinks, Maltinas, which is something that everyone drinks around here. It's a malted beverage...Then her friend Richee came over and the three of us discussed business opportunities, the advantage of being an American, the difference between the faith of Africans and Americans and why it's harder for Richee to see things our way. It was a great conversation...but again it's interesting because here - they tell you what to think.
To be continued...

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