Friday, August 17, 2012

Nine days in Nigeria...

Nigeria. What can I say? I went, I survived and I came back. I did not get a t-shirt or any other souvenirs for that matter but I do have a stamp in my passport and more importantly by West African standards, I have a certificate of participation to hang on my wall! That's all that really matters, right?

Honestly, it was a pretty good trip (I can say that now that I'm back). It could have been a lot worse. I was not pleased that it took us about 1 1/2 to get our luggage on arrival and much less pleased by the 3 so-called police officers that harassed us in the parking lot at midnight. It wasn't the nicest welcome. Let's just say that as soon as I arrived in Lagos, I was ready to move on to Ibadan.

Of course, in Ibadan we were again faced with the somewhat less safe conditions in Nigera. Dr. Jalloh was supposed to stay with friends but their house had been broken into the previous night. He decided he would stay in the hostel on the hospital compound as well. So, 4 of us stayed in the hostel- small but decent. The only annoying thing was that the electric stove took about 1 hour to boil water. Oh, and the toilet didn't flush properly and the tap was broken but other than that it was fine.

The revision course was good. I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of teaching - what a relief!? I would have backed out of this whole idea had the teaching been rubbish. Thankfully it was good- interactive, up-to-date, relevant, etc. Of course, there were a few lecturers who were extremely boring, but that can happen anywhere. We had lectures from 8am-7pm which meant long days, after which we stumbled back to the hostel for some more studying and sleep.

Really, the course was worth going to but I have honestly never missed Sierra Leone as much in my life. It sounds strange now but I was counting down the (nine long) days to come back. I was so thankful for phone calls and text messages with Suzanne, Allison, my mom, Gibrill and Osman. And the random calls from people in Sierra Leone that didn't realize I was out of the country. It's quite convenient that Airtel works in Nigeria!

Thanks to those who prayed for my trip! I appreciate it. Especially Allison and Suzanne who prayed after I texted them from a crazy highway on our way back to Lagos. I'd not been so afraid on the road for a while. Talk about manic driving. As you can imagine, I was happy to arrive in Lagos again, thankful we could stay at Prof's son's house (thanks Prof!) and happy to be flying home the next day. It's a bit of a shame we didn't see much of Nigeria... maybe next time. We did see Prof's hospital which was quite fun and I was impressed by the level of the commitment the staff showed. All in all, it was quite the experience...

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