Friday, December 05, 2008

The 154th good thing about Lagos: Lots of help assembling Christmas gifts for charities

I have just over a week in Lagos between our return from our trip to Egypt and my flight back to the States for the holidays. My biggest project during this week was to complete the assembling of holiday gift bags for the staff of the charities that the American Women's Club supports. Last year I assisted with this project, and this year I was in charge. We needed 88 bags and had requested donations of money and goods from club members to stock the bags. I had wonderful assistance purchasing goods from wholesale dealers and we were allowed use of a company's guest house to assemble the bags. After our arrival home from the trip on Sunday, on Monday shoppers went out with the funds we had collected and Tuesday we had a team at the guest house assembling the bags. We distributed the bulk goods in ziplock bags and set up an assembly line, and with all the willing helpers, we had 88 assembled gift bags in no time. Each bag held rice, white and yellow garri, beans, evaporated milk, powdered milk, candles, matches, tea, vegetable oil, maggi cubes (bouillon), salt, sugar, tomato paste, toilet paper, sardines, semovita, pasta, a pen or pencil and an airplane bag stocked with toiletries. No luxuries, but some neccessities that will undoubtedly be useful and appreciated.

I'm still working on distribution -- I have a lot of help with that, but I'm delivering bags to a couple of charities myself. Today I faced some horrible traffic (well, my driver faced it -- admittedly I sat in the back seat with a book and my i-pod -- but it was still aggravating) bringing some gift bags and christmas party money to an orphanage -- but I was rewarded with a crowd of cute little kids who wanted to hold my hand and get some of my attention.

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