Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Good Morning from Yola

I have not been online for a while. Apparently I was so out of it  while preparing for this move that I didn’t even tell one of my brothers that we were moving to Africa, so I apologize for my lack of contact. I will try to keep my apologies to a minimum :).
There are so many places that I could start, before our move, more about the princesses birth, our vacation with family and then our move here. I better star with now.
Some of my impressions of Nigeria are:
1. The people really are FRIENDLY. One of the ladies that I met said, “You are very welcome.” after every sentence or thought. We have been welcomed from the airport in Abuja to the men that knock on my door that I didn’t even know were coming to help. At the airport one of the lady guards saw me trying to hold Prince’s hand just after we got off the plane while waiting for immigration. I was trying to keep him close. She said just let him play. I took her sage advise and although I was less in control of the situation (which is kind of hard with the changes) it seemed to be a good suggestion and we were happy.
When we went to church in Abuja people were coming up to us all over the place. If you have ever gone to a ward or branch and felt bad that no one noticed you were there, you really have to go to church in Abuja. Nearly half the branch approached us and welcomed us personally. That was really wonderful and I wish I could remember names. One gal even got our contact information and we look forward to getting to know her (the branch music conductor).
We received a really amazing welcome from AUN when we arrived. Before we even got off the airplane Margee, AUN president was on the plane looking for us to greet us. She even took some of our bags after holding our baby and was so friendly and helpful. Margee had brought a welcoming committee with her of at least 4 people from the school I remember the two that live at our same compound Rama and Linus who both teach at AUN.  They were very helpful in getting us our first evening meal there and getting us to our home. Rama helped us to get connected to the internet which of course is home to Derrill :). And the HR rep Jasmine and another gal were there to welcome us and tell us a little about our home.
We could not have expected or received a more positive and thoughtful welcome. I really felt that this is a place that Derrill will enjoy and be valued, because they have already shown in small ways how they value him already.
2. They seem very interested in little ones. People here will always address Prince even if they do not address us verbally (they will with their eyes or nod). They call him little man or sir and want to shake his hand or ask him questions. Prince doesn’t always notice, but when he does he has been acting shy (I think he is actually teasing them), and pulling his hand away behind his back. People really like our baby. They tend to think that she is a boy. I asked one lady at the Abuja airport what they do in Nigeria to show that their babies are girls and I believe that she let me know that they pierce their ears.
Ladies at church were really sweet, only I wasn’t quite comfortable with all the ones that wanted to take my baby out of my arms. I really did try to hold on to her, but some were so insistent that she was gone momentarily from my arms. One lady actually took my baby off of the pew and starting walking away. I called for her to come back and she would not and went to sit on different bench. I smiled politely and shook my head and took my baby back.
3. They seem to be very VISIBLE. I could see people everywhere on the road and they didn’t look like they were going anywhere. In the United States I would think that they look like they are waiting for a bus, but not here, there are too many clusters of them all along the highway. There are some people selling things, and some walking, but many of them just seemed to be waiting for something. This observation was in Abuja. While we have been driving in Yola I have not noticed much, because I have always had some one to talk to in the vehicle and that keeps me from being as observant outside.
 -- Joy