Saturday, February 14, 2009

The 159th good thing about Lagos: rescuers in pirogues

We're stuck at home without a driver on Valentine's Day (sigh, no date to the movies as we had planned). Sometimes the constraints of life here are depressing. But I'm finally getting around to blogging about our fun outing to the beach on last Saturday. We were invited by a co-worker who is a Total employee (the French oil company that is one of the partners in the project) to go with them to Total's beach complex. A trip to the beach is always a really great get-away here. It's wonderful to get away from the noise and bustle of the city and I find the beach sounds and air very soul-restoring. Total has a wonderful beach complex, with a beautiful pool and comfortable lounge chairs and they fix visitors a nice barbeque dinner and everything. It was a really great day.

We had a bit of an adventure getting to land, as the boat transporting us got stranded on a sandbar as we neared the dock. (We travel to the beach on an inland waterway and walk across a narrow peninsula to the beachhouse on the ocean beach area.) The boat driver tried to get the engine free and only succeeded in getting the propeller further mired down. So the locals came out with their pirogues and ferryed our group into the dock. It was a little nervewracking, as the canoes were quite unsteady. I was sure we were going to tip over and my camera would be destroyed. Of course, I was more worried about the baby in the car seat and her 4-year old sister who were also on our canoe. Gratefully, we made it to shore without incident. But it's made me a little more worried about the outing we will soon take to a remote village festival where we have an hour on a pirogue ride. I'm going to put the camera in a zip-lock bag and hope for the best.

Down the beach a bit from the Total complex were the ruins of a couple of ships. These were different shipwrecks from our first visit to a shipwreck site in Nigeria.
As I looked at these rusting hulls and recalled all the other broken down ships in the water we passed around the port on the ride to the beach area, it made me frustrated that no one comes and cleans up their own mess. I would think that with the price of iron that the salvage costs might come with some reward. I wish boat owners would be required to get rid of their broken-down ships. Our boat was very quickly freed from the sand undamaged after the load was lightened when the passengers were ferryed to shore. I've found a lot of good things in Nigeria. But I really wish they would start the good thing of cleaning up their garbage!

1 comment:

Lindsay, Steve and Spencer: said...

Those shipwrecks are pretty amazing! It's sad nobody cleans them up though. I'm really glad you guys got rescued; it sounds like a fun trip-- what a nice getaway. Austin and Spencer send their love!!