Thursday, April 03, 2008

The 117th good thing about Lagos: Getting back into town and a return to routine and also a new experience

We returned to Lagos earlier this week without incident, even with all our luggage, despite British Airways well-publicized failures in this regard for so many others. I'm grateful our cooler with cheese and sausage escaped the trip to Milan for sorting along with thousands of other "delayed" bags.

We had a great time in Austin with our beautiful grandchildren for Easter. Altogether, the trip was a nice break, but seemed to pass too quickly. It IS good to get away from here.

Now, back in Lagos, life very quickly returns to routine, and not so routine. We got back to our apartment around 9:30 PM Tuesday and by shortly after 11 everything was unpacked and stashed somewhere. The next morning Brent was at work and I was off to my book group. Today I had a full day planned with my Bible Study group, a short stop with my Thursday card group before I left early for an opportunity to hear from a Nigerian author who was speaking at a friend's African literature book group. I was looking forward to this opportunity, but it was not to be. My driver had seemed to know where he was going after I gave him the directions, but we couldn't find the right neighborhood and in an attempt to backtrack while avoiding the go-slow blocking the busy road, he took a "road" (even despite my shouting "oh, no, this way doesn't look good...") that ended up as a sandy quagmire for our little Toyota. Four-wheel drive vehicles were passing us easily, but we were surrounded by some young men who offered to help us for a small "contribution." At first my driver tried to free us on his own and then called for help, but we determined that the fastest way to get unstuck was to enlist the aid of these young men.
I was worried at first, but we were lucky that they had no malicious intent, but were simply there to capitalize on an earning opportunity. So, after acquiring quite an appreciative audience -- a family who lived in a shack beside this sandy cut-off between two paved roads with a couple of attractive and cleanly dressed young children and a beautiful totally naked 1-year old baby boy. They preferred to not be photographed, but they were friendly and smiling through the whole adventure and reassured me that I wouldn't come to harm. After negotiating their fee, the boys got quickly to work lifting and pushing boards under the tires and we were soon free of the sand for the low price of 2000 Naira (about $17, but a year ago it would have been closer to $14. The inflated price is courtesy of the US financial crisis -- I can't set blame for that on these boys). I gave up on hearing the author lecture today, but I was able to add a new experience to my ever increasing list of adventures in Nigeria.


Lindsay, Steve and Spencer: said...

sounds exciting! I'm glad you got out OK and weren't stuck forever. :o)

Erin said...

Ellie was very excited when I showed her that she had made it onto Grandma's blog.