Saturday, 24 September 2011

Quick thoughts

I'm going to put up some random pictures I've taken, but mostly I'm using it as an excuse to post something about which I have been feeling especially grateful.

Kelli and Emma are amazing!!!

This move to Nigeria is probably as foreign and unique an experience as we've ever had, and yet both of them have been true "examples of the believers" and behaved with grace and courage at every turn.

I also feel blessed that the rest of our family in the US are being faithful and strong as they adapt to our new situation. several times a week we read scriptures together and talk about what's going on via Skype. I'm glad I can still feel close to loved ones while half way around the world.

Now some random pictures. It seems you can carry anything on a motorcycle...

Just don't tailgate. Or maybe you want to browse the bookstore while you laptop is repaired.

And some general scenes while driving around.

Thank you everyone for your love and support.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

You want hamburger? It's no problem . . . . .

Ok, so begins the search for the infamous meat grinder. Because if you want hamburger in Nigeria, it's no problem, just make it yourself. Easy right? But I am learning that 'no problem' has several different meanings and so I set aside an entire morning to go to the market in Jimeta and search for a meat grinder. This is the gate at the front of the market.

And this is inside the market. It is huge! Several streets like this one filled with little shops. It's like a treasure hunt somewhere between a dollar store and a flea market. See any meat grinders? Me neither.

I loved this picture because of the young girl carrying something on her head. Apparently everyone here, except the expats, can carry almost anything on their head. (Don't worry, I am collecting pictures for a later blog on just that very topic.) Today is all about hamburger.

So, before you can buy anything you have to find the guy who will give you a good exchange rate. The Naira is around 155 to 1 dollar. So here's how I do it in my head. N1000 = about $7. And the N1000 is the biggest bill here. Everything is cash and so it's like carrying around a wad of 5-10 dollar bills everywhere you go. Here's a picture of some Naira.

And here is a picture of the nice man who gave me a good rate and a few teenagers who were hanging around the shop. The boy was selling water and the girl was just cute. If you can't afford to put your child in school then they don't go. So there are a lot of kids who try to make money at the market.

I restocked my wallet we began the search and after about an hour and a half of looking in at least 6 shops, we finally found the meat grinder that we wanted. By the way, these shops are not together, but scattered all over the market and I was really hot and sweaty by this point. Here is the shop that finally won and the man and woman who worked there. She was totally fun and loved me taking her picture, the man was very shy so I snuck this shot when he wasn't looking.

Of course, once you are in the market, you might as well keep shopping and I had other things I needed. This is the Cake House and it is one of a kind. It is the only place to buy Crisco, raisins, oatmeal, vanilla (kinda, it's either a yucky imitation or expensive oil), baking soda, etc. I took some pictures inside also. Umar is in red and guess what? He is officially our cook starting next week. YES!! Umar will have his own blog later as well. I also took a shot of one shelf in particular that caught my eye. Canned coconut alongside tuna, corned beef, canned mackerel and canned hot dogs!! What more could you want?

I loved this part of the market where there are spices for sale. It smells much better than some other parts.

I also needed some scissors, needle and thread so we went to a few sewing/ tailor shops. The first picture is fun because of the little girl and her mother. Then I passed this shop with 3 women and they started giggling when I asked if I could take their picture. They loved to see themselves and were so fun that I took several and promised to bring them copies. Can you see that there is no electricity and they are using old machines that you pump with your foot? Amazing!!!

And here is the end of my tale. As for the meat grinder itself, I think it's fantastic!!


Thursday, 15 September 2011

Emma in uniform and more . . .

I have to hurry and post this before Emma gets home from school and deletes the picture. She refused to wear the white socks arguing that since she is the only white kid in school with the only white legs and feet, then there is no need for her to wear white socks also. I think she makes a pretty good case. I mean, come on, look how white those legs are.

It is definitely the rainy season. Lots of flooding going on right now. I am sure glad that our home here is built out of concrete blocks because the storms are pretty ferocious.

Dauda, our driver, says that if we have another storm today the water will begin to cover the roads.

Did we mention that there are cows just wandering the streets?

Lots and lots of cows . . .

These children lived next door to the store where I bought Emma's school supplies. The tiny one was saying bye bye when I snapped this shot. The children here are beautiful. They stare at us everywhere we go and giggle when we say hello. It is fun to try and talk to them. There are actually a few more hiding in the alleyway behind these kids.

This is one of my favorite pictures that I have taken so far. This little girl was on her way to school and I snapped this shot as she passed in front of our driveway. She was waving at Emma. She was even more darling in real life.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

More fun in yola

Ok Alan is going blog crazy. I will try to get a word in, but even as I type he is furiously working on yet another posting. This picture is me and our "cook on loan" named Umar. We would love to have him permanently because he is wonderful. YUM! (And he cuts up the chicken so I don't have to.YES!) He is a christian man with 6 kids age 19 to 7 mo.

This a a great shot of a woman driving a scooter. She is the first woman we have seen driving, mostly it is men. Emma snapped this picture right as she passed us! You go girl!!

Ok, so I see this guy at the big market in Jimeta carrying these 3 chickens for sale and I think they are dead. I asked if I could take his picture he said no but put the chickens on the ground so that I could take their picture. I decided to lift them up only to discover that they were very much alive. Look how brave I am!

Emma wants to cover the duvet on her bed with some fantastic Nigerian fabric but she's got way too many choices. There are several dozen fabric stores like this in this little town. How will she ever decide?

This is one of the 2 actual grocery stores where we shop. I have named it Chewbaccas since I can't ever remember the name. (Yakubu) What you see out front is water sold in bags with a little spout attached. There is also a picture inside the store and another of the fruit stand out in front. We just buy stuff and then pray a lot that it is safe to eat. Lots of praying!

These next 2 shots are of people carrying meat on their heads. They stand along the road with 'Salmonella For Sale'. No, we do not buy our meat here. Yuck!

On our way home we got stopped on the road. Don't you just hate it when livestock think they have the right of way? Although, I would rather see them like this than spoiling on top of someone's head. Yuck again!

As you can plainly see. . . We are truly having more fun in Yola!

Alan, Kelli and Emma go to market

So, Kelli and Emma have been to the Jimeta Market before, but this was my first experience. It was awesome!!! We didn't take many photos in the market itself, but several fun ones on the drive there.

Here we have a truck full of cattle on their way to, well you can imagine. The cattle have pretty impressive horns, yet the workers sit casually above them. Given the number of potholes, it seems a brave thing to do.

Before you even get into the main market, there are stalls set up with produce and more.

I couldn't bring myself to take pictures of the meat stands. Maybe another time.

We did see one thing I found especially humorous when we bought caulk for Kelli. The shop next door sold water pumps. From the lake out in front of the shop, it would appear they need to put one to use themselves.

More later.

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