Wednesday, 21 December 2011

More visitors, a Christmas party and henna

We recently had a visit from Yuramma (another guard) and his family. This is him:

And his beautiful wife.

And his oldest daughter. . . Belief. Her hair is wrapped in tiny black wire and then twisted on her head. Her mother did all three girls hairdos.

Then Benevolence. I asked Yuramma how long it took his wife to braid her hair and he said it was easy, it only took about 5 hours.

And Beloved. Sometimes Nigerians put eye makeup on their children for special occasions. Mostly eye liner, but these girls had their eyebrows drawn in. I'm not sure why and I didn't ask.

All together. A beautiful family.

We also had a super fun Christmas party with all our house help. First, Umar fed everyone roasted chicken, jollof rice, salad and fruit. You would not believe how much food these guys can put away. Two platefuls each piled 4 to 5 inches high. Amazing! Then we watched "Knights' Tale" (which they had never seen but really, really loved). They were on the edge of their seats by the end and all yelled out loud when the bad guy lost. Of course we had cookies and then dancing and gifts. Everyone had a great time. By the way, Nigerians do not like to smile for pictures, so you can tell how much fun they had. (Plus I threatened to take the cookies away if I didn't see some teeth. Hee hee hee)

Emma and I decided to get some Nigerian henna done before we came home, so Alan's secretary Aisha found a girl in Yola and off we went. Here is Aisha . . . And Emma's hand . . .

She did a beautiful job!

and all the kids came out to see the Bature.

Nigerian children are so beautiful!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Motorcycle skills and much, much more

In trying to come with a catchy phrase for these 2 pictures I toyed around with "Now that's using you head," and also "the Doorman" but I finally settled on, " Keeping an open mind."

This picture would have been more impressive if I had gotten my camera out faster because it looked crazy from behind. In case you can't tell, that is a car windshield that they are transporting. My favorite part of this shot, however, is the fact that BOTH men are looking behind them . . . At what I don't know. So who is watching the road?

The next few pictures are of kids in their school uniforms. I probably see at least 20 different uniforms every day so this is just a small sample. They love to wave at white people. And Emma and I are super white!

We have had some more visitors. This is one of our guards named Phillip
and his family.

The boys are Nathaniel and Barnabas. Nathaniel loves to draw. These pictures are for you Aaron!

Phillip is a great dad, but what I love about him the most are 2 things.
#1. Whenever he is happy he jumps up and down. A lot!
#2. He tries to bow whenever he hugs me and unless I want to put him in some kind of a headlock/ hug thing, I have to grab his shoulders and stand him back up. Every time!

We also had a visit from Habu ( yes, you pronounce it like Abu from Aladdin). He is our gardener, and this first picture is of him wearing my reading glasses while trying to read the Skittles package to see if they were made in China. When he saw this picture he said, "Yes! I look good!"

And here he is with his brand new wife, Farida. They have been married about a month. When Habu saw her for the first time it was in a grocery store and he thought she was beautiful so he bought her groceries. That convinced her to give up her phone number and the romance began. Take note boys . . .

This is a shot of another guard named Isaac. He was dressed for church and looked super handsome, so I made him come inside to "capture him" as they say here. He's giving his parents and grandparents a copy of this picture for Christmas.

We have also made many more friends. This is Christina, (sitting in the market with Umar) she lives next door, teaches entrepreneurship and is known far and wide as "the Chicken Whisperer." (details forthcoming)

This is Lillian from Cameroon. She moved here with her husband Julius and they will be moving close to us in a few weeks. Yeah!!

This is Joe, Craig and Christina in their robes at the Founders day celebration. Craig is the one who likes to wear his cowboy boots with his Nigerian outfits.

Joe is leaving us soon and we will miss him a lot! Good friends are always missed. FYI - Emma and I will be home on the 10th of December for almost a month with Alan following a week later. See you soon!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Kelli and Emma in their brand new Nigerian dresses, along with Granso who did a beautiful job!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 13 November 2011

More Sallah photos

The Eid el-Kabir experience was a fun one. I am really enjoying the opportunity to gain even a small appreciation for this rich and beautiful culture.

By the way, I think I need more of these outfits. Kelli identified it as a gare, but I liked the name I found on Wikipedia which is "Grand Boubou" (pronounced Boo Boo).

Anyway, here are some pictures I took at the Palace. As part of the Durbar, the tribal leaders ride up to His Majesty the Lamido, shake traditional weapons in the air and pledge their allegiance.

The guys in red are the Palace Guards. I REALLY want to get me one of those!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Al Hajji Bature


Al Hajji means a man who has made the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca. Bature means white man. We figured since Alan was a regular temple worker for several years before we came to Nigeria, that he could use the title. Actually, one of our AUN logistics officers in Abuja named Ibrahim Buba gave him the title first. He is standing with two of our guards, Bala (on the left) and Phillip (on the right).

And here he is with Dauda our driver. They are dressed for the Sallah celebration called Eid-El-Kabir which marks the end of the Hajj.

The robe is called a gare and the hat is hula. These guards are Stephen (left) and Friday (right).

Here is Alan with the sleeves unfolded so you can see how big the gare really is. It is a sign of importance and wealth to have these huge sleeves that you constantly have to fold over your shoulders. He is standing with Craig Pearce who is Dean of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship. Please notice that Craig opted out of wearing the traditional sandals and went for his cowboy boots instead.

We went to the Lamido's Palace for a big celebration called Durbar, where tribal leaders present themselves to the Lamido and they are dressed in their finest. Here are just a few pics, the first is a young prince . . .

Here are some mucky-mucks . . .

We think that this is the Lamido in the blue robe, but it's hard to tell.

Barka de Sallah everyone! (happy Sallah!!)