Thursday, 20 October 2011

Catholic Mass and a visit from Granso

Recently, while Alan was in DC for board meetings, Emma and I were invited to a special thanksgiving Mass by one of our guards named Ebute Friday. He is very shy and his English is not great, so when he asked me to attend, I was slightly confused, but agreed to come. And then he said this, "I am just a small man, but God has blessed me with 4 children." He then proceeded to 'explain' that this particular Sunday, he would take extra food to the altar and give it as a special sacrifice for his great blessings. So he showed up at our house bright and early Sunday morning with his cute little family.

This is Rachael . . . She is 10 and she attached herself to my side and never left.

This is Patience. She is 7 and she sat on Emma's lap for the whole service.

This is Rosemary, she is 5. She sat on my lap and she has mad skills at Fruit Ninja. Which we played before church, not during . . . in case you were wondering.

This is Destiny, she is 2. She looks a lot like her daddy. She snoozed through most of the Mass.

Take a good look at these 4 little girls. They sat through 3 hours of church and NEVER squirmed, fussed or made a peep. No food, or books or toys . . . Just 4 good little girls. I asked Friday how he raised them so well, but he couldn't understand what I said. My favorite part of the whole Mass was when they called his name and he took his family and friends to the altar (Emma and I included) along with a flat of soda, several dozen eggs, 6 large yams and a live chicken. After giving these to the priest, he blessed us with holy water and we returned to our seats. Friday may be "a small man" in physical stature, but he is a large man in spirit.

I was also pleased to finally meet Umar's beautiful wife named Granso.

She joined me for lunch and brought their youngest, 9 month old Taypety.

I finally got him to let me hold him . . .

Granso is also a seamstress and will be making us some Nigerian dresses soon. Yes!

Life is good, even in Yola!


Thursday, 6 October 2011

AUN independence day and more

I realized today that it is time for another post and since there is a huge rainstorm raging outside this evening, I decided that this is the perfect indoor activity. Organizing some thoughts and pictures. These are a few local businesses, starting with a bank . . .

A gas station . . .

A mosque under construction. ( I love this because of the "scaffolding?") It looks even more rickety in real life, if you can believe that. Especially when there are people working on it. Yikes!!

This store has apparently gone out of business. Go figure . . .

And last but not least . . .(I apologize for the glare, but I just couldn't leave it out). Disney world !!!

We have also made some new friends. This is Caroline. She is as fun and loud as she looks! My kind of friend. I have decided that she is the missing Latu sister, as she reminds of my fun, fun polynesian friends back home. A shout out to you Kalo, Melba and the whole gang. You would love her!!! I do!!

This is Coach. He is the basketball coach at AUN and is a mess of fun too!

These final pictures are from a cultural night that the AUN students put on in celebration of their 51st year of independence. Here is Emma with Coach and some random guy who jumped in the shot. Check out his hat!! All of the students are wearing traditional dress.

Emma with some girls that look beautiful in their dresses. Of course, Emma is beautiful too! The green light made for an interesting photo, but green and white are Nigeria's colors. With the red carpet on the ground it kinda felt a little christmassy. (Is that a real word?)

Some of the really interesting outfits . . .

This young man is dressed as the Lamido. He is the highest Muslim leader in the Adamawa State. Very respected and very powerful. He is always pictured with a big elaborate headdress like this one that sweeps under his chin. It is a sign of his office.

And last, but not least is a picture of the president of AUN, Margee Ensign. She is amazing, full of energy, charismatic, brilliant and actually a lot of fun to be around! Alan is very lucky to have the chance to work for her. She loves Africa and has devoted a good portion of her career to helping the African people in several different countries. See if you can find her in the picture. Hee hee hee . . .

We miss all of our friends back home, but have come to love this place already. The people are so friendly and welcoming. In fact, when you meet them, the first thing that they say is, "You are welcome!" It kinda threw me off initially, but now I just respond with, "Thank you!"